Alessandro Acquisti

Alessandro Acquisti

Scholar Title:

Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy

Department: Heinz College

Colleges / Universities: Carnegie Mellon University


5000 Forbes Ave.
HBH 2105C
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone Number: (412) 268-2164


Alessandro Acquisti is a Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University. He is the co-director of the CMU Center for Behavioral Decision Research (CBDR), a member of Carnegie Mellon Cylab, and is currently a Principal Investigator on the Usable Privacy Policy Project, a multi-year collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation and involving Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy and computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford. His work investigates the economic and social impact of IT, and in particular the economics and behavioral economics of privacy and information security, as well as privacy in online social networks.

Professor Acquisti is co-editor of the book Digital Privacy: Theory, Technologies, and Practices (Auerbach Publications, 2007) and his research has been disseminated through journals, edited books, book chapters, international conferences, and international keynotes. His findings have been featured in media outlets such as NPR, NBC,, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New Scientist, CNN, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV.

Professor Acquisti has received national and international awards, including the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies, the IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award, the Heinz College Teaching Excellence Award, and various best paper Awards. Two of his manuscripts were selected by the Future of Privacy Forum in their best "Privacy Papers for Policy Makers" competition.

Prior to joining CMU, Professor Acquisti researched at the Xerox PARC labs in Palo Alto, CA, with Bernardo Huberman and the Internet Ecologies Group (as intern), and for two years at RIACS, NASA Ames Research Center, in Mountain View, CA, with Maarten Sierhuis and Bill Clancey (as a visiting student). At RIACS, he worked on agent-based simulations of human-robot interaction onboard the International Space Station. While studying at Berkeley, he co-founded with other fellow students a privacy technology company, PGuardian Technologies.

In a previous life, Professor Acquisti worked as classical music producer and label manager (, as freelance arranger, lyrics writer, and soundtrack composer for theatre, television, and indy cinema productions (including works for BMG Ariola/Universal and RAI 3 National Television), and raced a Yamaha TZ 125 in the USGPRU national championship.


Ph.D. Information Management and Systems, University of California, Berkeley, 2003

M.I.M.S. Information Management and Systems, University of California, Berkeley, 2001

M. Sc. Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, London School of Economics, 1999

M. Litt Economics, Trinity College Dublin, 1999

Laurea Economics, University of Rome, 1997