INI Seminar: Alessandro Acquisti

Time: November 12, 2010 - 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Location: DEC@CIC


The INI welcomes Alessandro Acquisti, an Associate Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His talk is titled "How Do We Make Decisions about the Privacy and Security of our Personal Information."

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 the Collaborative Innovation Center (DEC@CIC).

Speaker: Alessandro Acquisti

Talk Abstract: I will first highlight how research in behavioral economics can help us make sense of apparent inconsistencies in privacy (and security) decision-making. Then, I will present results from a number of experiments, including a recent study of the complex relationship between privacy and control. Normatively, privacy is often associated with an individual's control over his/her personal information. However, in a series of experiments, we investigated the effect that granting more control over information revelation has on individuals' propensities to share sensitive data. We found that real or perceived control over information publication increases the likelihood that individuals will disclose sensitive information, even when the objective risks associated with such disclosures actually increase. We call this the privacy control paradox. Our findings highlight that merely granting users more "control" over their personal information or privacy settings does not guarantee that they will be able to find a desirable balance between information disclosure and information protection. In fact, technologies that make individuals feel more in control over the publication of personal information may potentially carry the unintended consequence of eliciting more risky disclosures.
Speaker 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.