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Privacy in the Age of Augmented Reality

#sxsw #ssnstudy

What will privacy and anonymity mean in the coming age of augmented reality – a future where online and offline data will seamlessly blend? I will present the results, and discuss the social and economic implications, of a series of experiments in which we combined publicly available data with off-the-shelf face recognition applications for the purpose of automated, large-scale individual re-identification – including predicting people’s Social Security numbers from their faces.



Alessandro Acquisti Professor Carnegie Mellon University

Alessandro Acquisti is an associate professor at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the co-director of CMU Center for Behavioral and Decision Research. He investigates the economics of privacy. His studies have spearheaded the application of behavioral economics to the analysis of privacy and information security decision making, and the analysis of privacy and disclosure behavior in online social networks. Alessandro has been the recipient of the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies, the IBM Best Academic Privacy Faculty Award, multiple Best Paper awards, and the Heinz College School of Information's Teaching Excellence Award. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and House committees on issues related to privacy policy and consumer behavior. Alessandro's findings have been featured in national and international media outlets, including the Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Financial Times,, NPR, and CNN. His 2009 study on the predictability of Social Security numbers was featured in the “Year in Ideas” issue of the NYT Magazine (the SSNs assignment scheme was changed by the US Social Security Administration in 2011). Alessandro holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, and Master degrees from UC Berkeley, the London School of Economics, and Trinity College Dublin. He has held visiting positions at the Universities of Rome, Paris, and Freiburg (visiting professor); Harvard University (visiting scholar); University of Chicago (visiting fellow); Microsoft Research (visiting researcher); and Google (visiting scientist). He has been a member of the National Academies' Committee on public response to alerts and warnings using social media.