Media and Information Policy Issues

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From discussions in courses and within the Quello Center Advisory Board, the Center has been developing a set of key issues tied to media, communication and information policy and practice. We’d welcome you thoughts on issues we’ve missed or issues noted that do not merit more sustained research and debate. Your feedback on this list would be most welcome, and will be posted as comments on this post.

Quello Advisory Board Meeting

I. Innovation-led Policy Issues

New Developments around Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: What are the implications for individual control, privacy, and security? Security is no longer so clearly a cyber issue as cyber security increasingly shapes the physical world of autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots.

Internet of Things (IoT): With tens of billions of things moving online, how can individuals protect their privacy and safety and well being as their environments are monitored and controlled by their movement through space? There are likely to be implications for urban informatics, transportation and environmental systems, systems in the household, and worn (wearables above). A possible focus within this set would be on developments in households.

Wearables: What appears to be an incremental step in the IoT space could have major implications across many sectors, from health to privacy and surveillance.

The Future of Content Delivery: Content delivery, particularly around broadcasting of film and television, in the digital age: technology, business models, and social impact of the rapidly developing ecosystem, such as on localism, diversity, and quality.

Free (and Open Source) Software: The prominence and future of free as well as open source software continues to evolve. Are rules, licensing, and institutional support, such as around the Free Software Foundation, meeting the needs of this free software community?

Big Data: How can individuals protect their privacy in the age of computational analytics and increasing capture of personal data and mass surveillance? What policies or practices can be developed to guide data collection, analysis, and public awareness?

Encryption: Advances in encryption technologies at a time of increasing threats to the privacy of individual communications, such as email, could lead to a massive uptake of tools to keep private communications private. How can this development be accelerated and spread across all sectors of the Internet community?

Internet2: Just as the development of the Internet within academia has shaped the future of communications, so might the next generation of the Internet – so-called Internet2 – have even greater implications in shaping the future of research and educational networking in the first instance, but public communications in the longer-term. Who is tracking its development and potential implications?

Other Contending Issues: Drones, Cloud computing, …

II. Problem-led Initiatives

Transparency: Many new issues of the digital age, such as concerns over privacy and surveillance, are tied to a lack of transparency. What is being done with your data, by whom, and for what purposes? In commercial and governmental settings, many public concerns could be addressed to a degree through the provision of greater transparency, and the accountability that should follow.

Censorship and Internet Filtering: Internet filtering and censorship was limited to a few states at the turn of the century. But over the last decade, fueled by fear of radical extremist content, and associated fears of self-radicalization, censorship has spread to most nation states. Are we entering a new digital world in which Internet content filtering is the norm? What can be done to mitigate the impact on freedom of expression and freedom of connection?

Psychological Manipulation: Citizen and consumers are increasingly worried about the ways in which they can be manipulated by advertising, (fake) news, social media and more that leads them to vote, buy, protest, or otherwise act in ways that the purveyors of the new propaganda of the digital age would like. While many worried about propaganda around the mass media, should there be comparable attention given to the hacking of psychological processes by the designers of digital media content? Is this a critical focus for consumer protection?

(In)Equities in Access: Inequalities in access to communication and information services might be growing locally and globally, despite the move to digital media and ICTs. The concept of a digital divide may no longer be adequate to capture these developments.

Privacy and Surveillance: The release of documents by Edward Snowden has joined with other events to draw increasing attention to the threats of mass unwarranted surveillance. It has been an enduring issue, but it is increasingly clear that developments heretofore perceived to be impossible are increasingly feasible and being used to monitor individuals. What can be done?

ICT4D or Internet for Development: Policy and technology initiatives in communication to support developing nations and regions, both in emergency responses, such as in relation to infectious diseases, or around more explicit economic development issues.

Digital Preservation: Despite discussion over more than a decade, it merits more attention, and stronger links with policy developments, such as ‘right to forget’. ‘Our cultural and historical records are at stake.’

III. Enduring Policy Issues Reshaped by Digital Media and Information Developments

Media Concentration and the Plurality of Voices: Trends in the diversity and plurality of ownership, and sources of content, particularly around news. Early work on media concentration needs new frameworks for addressing global trends on the Web, with new media, in print media, automated text generation, and more.

Diversity of Content: In a global Internet context, how can we reasonably quantify or address issues of diversity in local and national media? Does diversity become more important in a digital age in which individuals will go online or on satellite services if the mainstream media in a nation ignore content of interest to their background?

Privacy and Privacy Policy: Efforts to balance security, surveillance and privacy, post-Snowden, and in wake of concerns over social media, and big data. White House work in 2014 on big data and privacy should be considered. Policy and practice in industry v government could be a focus. Is there a unifying sector specific perspective?

Freedom of Expression: New and enduring challenges to expression in the digital age.

IV. Changing Media and Information Policy and Governance

Communication Policy: Rewrite of the 1934 Communications Act, last up-dated in 1996: This is unlikely to occur in the current political environment, but is nevertheless a critical focus.

Universal Access v Universal Service: With citizens and consumers dropping some traditional services, such as fixed line phones, how can universal service be best translated into the digital age of broadband services?

Network Neutrality: Should there be Internet fast lanes and more? Efforts to ensure the fair treatment of content, from multiple providers, through regulation has been one of the more contentious issues in the USA. To some, the issue has been ‘beaten to death’, but it has been brought to life again through the regulatory initiatives of FCC Chairman Wheeler, and more recently with the new Trump Administration, where the fate of net neutrality is problematic. Can we research the implications of this policy?

Internet Governance and Policy: Normative and empirical perspectives on governance of the Internet at the global and national level. Timely issue critical to future of the Internet, and a global information age, and rise of national Internet policy initiatives.

Acknowledgements: In addition to the Quello Advisory Board, special thanks to some of my students for their stimulating discussion that surfaced many of these issues. Thanks to Jingwei Cheng, Bingzhe Li, and Irem Yildirim, for their contributions to this list.

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Elizabeth Kirley’s Talk on Online Reputation and the Law

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Elizabeth A. Kirley presented a talk for the Quello Center that addressed alternative approaches to protecting reputations online. Professor Adam Candeub served as a respondent. So much is said about protecting reputations online that it is brilliant to have a thoughtful and well informed discussion of international agreements on human rights, national legal doctrines, and online reputation.

Entitled ‘Trashed: A Comparative Exploration of Law’s Relevance to Online Reputation’, through case studies, Dr. Elizabeth Kirley explores the cultural and historical influences that have resulted in very distinct legal regimes and political agenda. Her central thesis is that digital speech is sufficiently different in kind from offline speech that it calls for a more 21st century response to the harms it can inflict on our reputational privacy.

Elizabeth Kirley – Trashed: A Comparative Exploration of Law’s Relevance to Online Reputation from Quello Center on Vimeo.

Dr Elizabeth Kirley is a 2015-16 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Nathanson Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto and a frequent lecturer in issues raised by digital speech, technology crimes and robotic journalism. Recent research and presentation activities include the European University Institute, Florence; the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford UK; the American Graduate School of Paris; Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales de Paris; Sciences-Po University in Paris; Osnabruck University in Germany; and the Limerick School of Law, Ireland. She is a barrister and solicitor and called to the Ontario bar.

Professor Adam Candeub is on the Law Faculty at Michigan State University, and a Research Associate with the Quello Center. He was an attorney-advisor for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the Media Bureau and previously in the Common Carrier Bureau, Competitive Pricing Division. From 1998 to 2000, Professor Candeub was a litigation associate for the Washington D.C. firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, in the issues and appeals practice.

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Apple vs. the US Government by A. Michael Noll

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Apple vs. the US Government

A. Michael Noll

February 21, 2016

© 2016 AMN

Recently, Apple was asked to assist in breaking into the iPhone of one of the terrorists responsible for the San Bernardino attack – and Apple refused, citing privacy concerns.

What a difference today in how industry responds to a request for assistance from the government. Decades ago, when I worked at Bell Labs, the government sometimes asked Bell Labs for assistance in analyzing audio tapes from emergencies. One that I recall was from the Apollo 1 disaster, but there were others, such as a shooting in an airline cockpit. Bell Labs accepted its broader responsibility to the Nation.

The government is asking for help from Apple for this one specific iPhone – not the creation of a general backdoor to gain entry to encrypted data and thus risk unwanted intrusions into our privacy. Apple claims that this one iPhone will risk possible future intrusions if the software somehow escapes Apple. This claim amazes me, since Apple is such a control freak with strong controls of its software. I would imagine that software to crack this iPhone could be made specific to only that iPhone with a simple patch – not all iPhones in general.

I would not be surprised if Apple already knows how to bypass password protection and gain access – but does not want to admit this capability. Perhaps that is why Apple is refusing to honor the government’s request. Or, as some have suggested, is it just the profit motive?

If I were Apple, I would want to do what the government is asking – and what the court has approved. The alternative is that the government will itself discover how to write its own software to break into this specific iPhone – and possibly other iPhones in the future.

A. Michael Noll

A. Michael Noll

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The Evil Web?

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THE EVIL WEB

A. Michael Noll

September 26, 2015

© 2015 AMN, blogged with the permission of the author.

A. Michael Noll

A. Michael Noll

Along with spam and the pirating of copyrighted material, the Internet has become a dangerous and evil place. The Web has become today’s electronic wild west with the piracy of copyrighted material, identity theft, privacy invasion, and voracious amounts of spam – to list some evils of the Web.

In early 2012, Federal authorities went after a Web site that was pirating copyrighted material. In retaliation to the closing of the site and the criminal charges, hackers attacked the Web sites of Federal agencies.

Anyone who purchases stolen property is committing a crime. But it is not just copyrighted videos and music that is being stolen much to the anguish of Hollywood and the music industry. Academics obtain “pdf” files of textbooks and make them available at university websites so their students do not have to purchase the books, in effect, robbing authors and publishers of royalties and income.

Computer and Internet security are big issues today. Web sites are penetrated, and personal information is stolen leading to credit card fraud and identify theft. Over a weekend in mid January 2012, online shoe-site Zappos was hacked, and millions of customers’ information compromised. In 2007, Alcatel-Lucent somehow loss a data disk containing personal information about all its pensioners. Viruses and spoofing all contribute to making the Internet a dangerous place.

In most cases, businesses that are hacked or that misplace disks clearly have not taken adequate security precautions. Consumers need protection – legal and technological — from the evils of the Internet and the storage of electronic information.

Decades ago I worked on computer security and privacy issues on the staff of the White House Science Advisor. I learned then that the best way to keep information secure was not to make it available over any kind of network. The best firewall is a disconnected plug. But if information had to be made available, in as few cases as possible, then encryption was the best form of protection. There also had to be a need to know. Somehow all this advice seems to have been forgotten and ignored by many Internet sites.

There are other sensible protections. Customers should be given an option as to whether personal information is stored or not. The personal information that is stored should be on a separate computer that is not accessible over the Internet. All information – not just credit card information – clearly should be encrypted, with passwords and keys strongly protected. Audit trails are needed so that any penetration can be quickly determined and documented.

Today’s Internet crooks work from home or cozy offices – hacking their way into various web sites, spoofing legitimate web sites, stealing identities, pirating copyrighted material, and spamming the universe in promotion of whatever they are selling. And since each crime and each few bits of information seem insignificant, the Internet crooks get away with it. And, meanwhile, the Internet community at the slightest mention of any controls pleads about keeping the Internet free and open.

In mid January 2012, the Internet community – led by Google – mounted a massive campaign against the legislation that would have placed some limits on the Web. The claim was made that any such legislation would be censorship. However, Google and other search sites routinely determine the order of listings – and even what sites are listed – in effect, acting as the censors.

So what all the hoopla really is all about is who should set the terms of censorship – industry (which is guided solely by making a profit) or the government (which might more likely be guided by protecting the public and intellectual). A solution would be for search engines and Internet service providers to offer users the option to impose censorship and the terms of that censorship on sites.

In the end in 2012, Congress caved to all the pressure from the liberal Internet community – the White House had already fallen under the influence of Silicon Valley. And so any legislative protection died – and the Internet remains free and open – a lawless and dangerous place.

The Internet and Web are no longer new and innovative – electronic information, data communication, and the packet switching of the Internet are all relatively mature technologies that have been available for decades. If the Internet and Web community are not able to police and control themselves, then the only other option is government control and policing. Hollywood learned long ago that it was far better for it to police itself than suffer government regulation. One option would be for Internet access providers to offer a censored and protected level of service.

It is clear that the authorities do not seem willing – or able – to do much to stop all the evils of the Internet. Perhaps the time has come for a group of Internet vigilantes to patrol cyberspace to protect copyright, eliminate spam, and attack the servers of the Internet spammers and crooks.

A. Michael Noll is Professor Emeritus of Communication at the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, and a Quello Research Associate.

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UNESCO Internet Study Panel at World Summit for the Information Society 2015

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I had the pleasure of contributing to a panel at WSIS 2015 that focused on UNESCO’s Internet Study, and the report entitled ‘Keystones to Foster Inclusive Knowledge Societies’. My team at the Quello team, including Frank Hangler, supported the drafting of this report. The final version of that report should be available online very soon. The panel was organised for the C9 Action Line of the WSIS Forum 2015, held on 28 May 2015 in Geneva.

UNESCO’s summary of the discussion was on target, noting that:

“… free, independent and pluralistic media online and offline serve as a basis to the achievement of all Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, but they are under tremendous challenges and threats in the converged media landscape with ICTs and Internet, …”

UNESCO’s overview of the report and panel is online here. My slides aimed at providing an introduction to the report are here.

Bill speaking in Geneva-2015WSIS

UNESCO Release: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/resources/news-and-in-focus-articles/all-news/news/unesco_convened_10th_facilitation_meeting_of_action_line_c9_at_wsis_forum_2015/#.VWxoTuusd40

Bill Dutton’s Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/WHDutton/wsis-unesco2015

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What Makes a True Progressive in Communications & Tech Policy?

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On April 1 the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) held an event to discuss its new report entitled “How Techno-Populism Is Undermining Innovation.”  The thrust of the report was to contrast the dangers of what it describes as “tech populism” with the virtues of what it calls “tech progressivism.”

The report begins with:

There was a time when technology policy was a game of “inside baseball” played mostly by wonks from government agencies, legislative committees, think tanks, and the business community. They brought sober, technical expertise and took a methodical approach to advancing the public interest on complex issues such as intellectual property rights in the digital era or electronic surveillance of telecommunications networks. But those days are gone. Tech policy debates now are increasingly likely to be shaped by angry, populist uprisings—as when a stunning four million submissions flooded into the Federal Communications Commission in response to its request for public comment on the issue of net neutrality; or when a loose coalition of protesters staged a dramatic blackout of popular websites in January 2012 to halt legislation that was intended to curb online piracy.

The authors seem to consider the mass-scale FCC comments and grassroots coalition building on tech issues as dangerous and destructive, in ways I find difficult to recognize:

Populism draws its strength from individuals’ fears, misunderstandings, or distrust, appealing to the prejudices of crowds and relying on demagoguery, distortion, and groupthink. Tech populists focus on maximizing self-interest and personal freedom, even if it comes at the expense of broader public interests.

I find the last reference to the “broader public interests” especially strange, since most of those I know who support net neutrality rules and strong privacy protections (whether expert or non-expert) strike me as genuinely very concerned about the public interest.

While there is plenty of room for thoughtful and respectful debate about how best to serve the public interest, the paper’s heavy use of straw-man arguments strikes me as an unfortunate example of the “demagoguery, distortion and groupthink” it condemns among those who seek to bring more citizens into the public policy arena (though exercised with a different style and mix of debating techniques).

The paper later notes that:

To be clear, the problem with technology policy debates is not that they have become more open and participatory, but rather that many, if not most of those who are choosing to engage in these debates do so from a position of fear, anger, or misunderstanding.

I strongly agree that communication policy debates should be based on facts, logic and a focus on the public interest.  But I think the paper is pretty biased in how it assigns responsibility for relying on “fear, anger and misunderstanding” (perhaps a close relative of FUD).

Related to this is the paper’s suggestion that it is irrational to embrace the “populist” view that:

[E]lites, especially big business and big government, will prevent useful rules from being established—or, if those rules are established, will find ways to bypass them at the expense of the broader public. They distrust the private sector because they believe corporations are driven purely by profit, and they distrust the public sector because they believe government is ineffectual and overbearing.

While this so-called “populist view” might be more accurate with a bit more elaboration and nuance, I disagree with the report’s suggestion that it is far from the mark in describing the reality of the political economy we’ve experienced in this country over the past several decades. When I consider actions taken and statements made by government officials (e.g., related to the Iraq War, NSA activities, financial reform, etc.) and some large corporations (e.g., in their lobbying and PR efforts to restrict municipal fiber network projects, neuter financial reform, etc.) I see valid, readily documentable reality-based reasons for distrust. And, to use the report’s own language, I’d rank these powerful institutions as among the most skilled and well-resourced purveyors of “fear, anger and misunderstanding.” They can, after all, afford to hire the most skilled practitioners of FUD, “truthiness” and other communication black arts.

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Quello Policy Issues: Comments on Emerging Issues

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At the last meeting of the Quello Center Advisory Board, in the late Fall of 2014, we discussed key issues tied to media, communication and information policy and practice. The following list is a snapshot of the key issues emerging from that discussion, organized by general categories. Feedback on this list would be most welcome, and will be posted as comments on this post.

 

Innovation-led Policy Issues

The Future of Content Delivery: Content delivery, particularly around broadcasting of film and television, in the digital age: technology, business models, and social impact of the rapidly developing ecosystem, such as on localism, diversity, and quality.

Wearables: What appears to be an incremental step could have major implications across many sectors, from health to privacy and surveillance.

Regulation of the Internet of Things: Implications for urban informatics, transportation and environmental systems, systems in the household, and worn (wearables above). A possible focus within this set would be on developments in households.

Internet2: Implications for shaping the future of research and educational networking.

Other Contending Issues: Big data, drones, Cloud computing, …

 

Problem-led Initiatives

(In)Equities in Access: Inequalities in access to communication and information services might be growing locally and globally, despite the move to digital media and ICTs. The concept of a digital divide may no longer be adequate to capture these developments.

ICT4D or Internet for Development: Policy and technology initiatives in communication to support developing nations and regions, both in emergency responses, such as in relation to infectious diseases, or around more explicit economic development issues.

Digital Preservation: Despite discussion over more than a decade, it merits more attention, and stronger links with policy developments, such as ‘right to forget’. ‘Our cultural and historical record are at stake.’

 

Evolving Policy Issues Reshaped by Digital Media and Information Developments

Universal Access v Universal Service: With citizens and consumers dropping some traditional services, such as fixed line phones, do we need to refocus on providing a minimal level of broadband access to everyone, independent of devices?

Concentration and the Plurality of Voices: Trends in the diversity and plurality of ownership, and sources of content, particularly around news. Early work on media concentration needs new frameworks for addressing global trends on the Web, in print media, automated text generation, and more.

Emerging Privacy Policy: Efforts to balance security, surveillance and privacy, post-Snowden, and in wake of concerns over social media, and big data. White House work in 2014 on big data and privacy should be considered. Policy and practice in industry v government could be a focus. Is there a unifying sector specific perspective?

Freedom of Expression: New and enduring challenges to expression in the digital age.

 

Media and Information Policy and Governance

Rewrite of the 1934 Communications Act, last up-dated in 1996: This is unlikely to occur in the current political environment, but is nevertheless a critical focus.

Network Neutrality: Should there be Internet fast lanes and more? Issue has been ‘beaten to death’, but brought to life again through the public statements of Chairman Wheeler and President Obama. Huge implications for better or worse.

Future of Internet Governance: Normative and empirical perspectives on governance of the Internet at the global and national level. Timely issue critical to future of the Internet, and a global information age, and rise of national Internet policy initiatives.

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Censoring of Sensoring by Michael Noll

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It seems that nearly every physical object either has a sensor, or soon will. And that can lead to censoring by government or by us.

The tires in an automobile have sensors of the tire air pressure, which is a good thing since it informs us when the tire needs more air. Sensors also inform us when the tire has worn enough to need replacement, and that too is a good thing. However, when the tire information is transmitted to a tire store that then attempts to make a sale that can be an invasion of privacy. When the car transmits information about where it has been that also raises questions about invasions of privacy.

Light switches are accessible over the Internet and thus have sensors as to whether they are on or off. Thermostats that are Internet accessible sense room temperatures. When hacking occurs there will be risks to our homes, and also to our privacy.

Even people have sensors of body temperature and heart rate. Drones are multiplying and are being use to track us and potentially invade our private lives.

One potential problem is that sensors can lead to censoring if government gains access to the information. There also is the risk of self-censorship in what we say and where we go.

Where will this fascination with sensors lead? What crises will be created and will they be sufficient to halt the progress or create adequate protection and limits? How much censorship or we willing to accept in return for the benefits of sensors?

Michael Noll

Quello Associate and Professor Emeritus of Communications, Annenberg School at the University of Southern California

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New Reports on Personal Data Focus on Trust, Privacy and Transparency

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William H. Dutton, incoming Director of MSU’s Quello Center, and Quello Chair of Media and Information Policy, was the lead author of one of three new reports released by the World Economic Forum on strengthening trust, transparency and privacy in personal data usage. The reports are part of the WEF’s Rethinking Personal Data initiative, which was launched in 2010.

“I hope this initiative leads the industry and other key actors to assume leadership in addressing the concerns of users over their privacy and rights to free expression – concerns that are documented by our research,” Dutton said. “No one should be complacent about the continued vitality of the Internet.”

Rethinking Personal Data: A New Lens for Strengthening Trust, prepared in collaboration with A.T. Kearney, looks at how to enhance transparency and accountability in the use of personal data. It argues that a user-centered approach is the best way of achieving this. Individuals must have more of a say in how their data is used and should be able to use the data for their own purposes.

“In order to build a truly sustainable personal data economy, regaining the trust of individuals over the use of their data is imperative,” said Naveen Menon, Partner and APAC Head of Communications, Media and Technology at A.T. Kearney. “This means finding new ways to connect and provide them with choices that enable them to return to a sense of control over data usage.”

Supporting this analysis are two quantitative studies that look at the issues of trust, privacy and framework through the eyes of users. Rethinking Personal Data: Trust and Context in User-Centered Data Ecosystems, an empirical study across different countries, examines the importance of context-aware data usage and how it impacts trust.

The Internet Trust Bubble: Global Values, Beliefs and Practices uses the results from a survey of 16,000 respondents to assess the attitudes and behavior of Internet users globally. It shows that individuals are on the whole positive about the opportunities offered by the Internet, particularly related to freedom of expression. However, the report highlights concerns over privacy, surveillance and security.

The Rethinking Personal Data initiative brings together private companies, public sector representatives, end-user privacy and rights groups, academics and topic experts to examine how to create a principled, collaborative and balanced personal-data ecosystem. Executives from AT&T, A.T. Kearney, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Telefonica, VimpelCom and Visa are on its steering board.

Dutton currently is Professor of Internet Studies at the University of Oxford. He also is a Professorial Fellow of Balliol College and is the Founding Director of Oxford’s Internet Institute, a position he held from 2002 to 2011. He will begin his new position as Director and Chair of the Quello Center in August 2014.

Located in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University, the Quello Center was established in 1998 to be a worldwide focal point for excellence in research, teaching and the development and application of telecommunication management and policy.

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Interview with Alessandro Acquisti, speaker for the 2013 Quello Lecture: Privacy in the Age of Augmented Reality

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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, 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, and was a TED Global 2013 speaker.

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, Wired.com, 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.

Watch Dr. Acquisti’s interview:

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