Aleecia M. McDonald was appointed director of privacy at the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) in December. She will lead the center’s work in online technologies, privacy, and policy, with a particular focus on self-help measures and privacy-enhancing technologies, mobile privacy challenges, global frameworks for privacy rights, and user expression of Internet privacy preferences.
“Data privacy is reaching a critical level of public and regulatory interest. Current industry data practices face intense scrutiny from policy- makers around the world. The next few years are pivotal for Internet privacy,” says Barbara van Schewick, CIS faculty director, associate professor of law and Helen L. Crocker Faculty Scholar. “Aleecia’s expertise in technology and public policy uniquely qualifies her to find solutions that effectively protect privacy. I am thrilled that she will lead our research in this field.”
Prior to joining CIS, McDonald was a senior privacy researcher at Mozilla, where she worked on the company’s Do Not Track Web browser feature, and co-chair of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Tracking Protection Working Group. She earned a PhD in engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied online privacy. Her academic research areas include user expectations for Do Not Track, mobile privacy notices, behavioral economics and mental models of privacy, and the efficacy of industry self-regulation.