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Aleecia McDonald
Director of Privacy, Center for Internet & Society

Biography 

Aleecia M. McDonald is the Director of Privacy at Stanford’s Center for Internet & Society. Her research focuses on the public policy issues of Internet privacy, and includes user expectations for Do Not Track, behavioral economics and mental models of privacy, and the efficacy of industry self regulation. She co-chaired, and remains active in, the WC3’s Tracking Protection Working Group, an ongoing effort to establish international standards for a Do Not Track mechanism that users can enable to request enhanced privacy online. This effort brings together over 100 international stakeholders from industry, academia, civil society, privacy advocates, and regulators to reach an open, consensus-based multi-party agreement that will establish a baseline for what sites must do when they comply with an incoming request for user privacy. Aleecia’s decade of experience working in software startups adds a practical focus to her academic work, and she was a Senior Privacy Researcher for Mozilla (part-time, 2011-12,) while working for CIS as a Resident Fellow (part-time, 2011-12.) She holds a PhD in Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon where she studied online privacy as a member of the Cylab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) research laboratory. Her findings have been featured in media outlets such as the Washington Post, Ars Technica, Free Press' Media Minute. She has presented findings in testimony to the California Assembly, and contributed to testimony before the United States Senate and the Federal Trade Commission.