INI Seminar: Alessandro Acquisti

Time: October 30, 2009 - 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Location: DEC@Henry

Description:

The INI welcomes Alessandro Acquisti, Assistant Professor, Information Technology/Public Policy, Heinz College, a member of Carnegie Mellon Cylab, and a fellow of the Ponemon Institute. 
Acquisti is also a member of the INI faculty.  Topic:  Predicting Social Security Numbers from Public Data (for more information on this topic please see the full article written by Alessandro Acquisti and Ralph Gross at http://www.pnas.org/content/106/27/10975.full.pdf+html).

The INI Seminar takes place every Friday, 2:30 - 3:50 p.m. This week's seminar takes place at the Distributed Education Classroom at Henry Street (The INI Building).

Topic: Predicting Social Security Numbers from Public Data

Talk Abstract: Information about an individual's place and date of birth can be exploited to predict his or her Social Security number (SSN). Using only publicly available information, we observed a correlation between individuals' SSNs and their birth data and found that for younger cohorts the correlation allows statistical inference of private SSNs. The inferences are made possible by the public availability of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File and the widespread accessibility of personal information from multiple sources, such as data brokers or profiles on social networking sites.  Our results highlight the unexpected privacy consequences of the complex interactions among multiple data sources in modern information economies and quantify privacy risks associated with information revelation in public forums.
Speaker Bio: PRESENTER BIO: Alessandro Acquisti is an Associate Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, a member of Carnegie Mellon Cylab, and a fellow of the Ponemon Institute. Acquisti is also a member of the INI faculty.  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. In a previous life, Alessandro worked as classical music producer and label manager (PPMusic.com), 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.