Aleecia M. McDonald is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute, based in Silicon Valley. Professor McDonald focuses on the Practicum program, pairing students with sponsored external projects, plus teaches a variety of other courses at the MS level. Her Psst! Lab focuses on researching the public policy issues of Internet privacy, including user expectations, behavioral economics and mental models of privacy, and the efficacy of industry self regulation. She co-chaired the WC3’s Tracking Protection Working Group, an effort to establish international standards for a Do Not Track mechanism that users can enable to request enhanced privacy online.
Professor McDonald was Director of Privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, where she maintains a non-resident Fellow affiliation. She was also a Senior Privacy Researcher for Mozilla. A decade of experience working in software startups adds a practical focus to her academic work.
Professor McDonald's research findings have been featured in media outlets such as the Washington Post, Ars Technica, and NPR. She has presented testimony to the California Assembly, and contributed to testimony before the United States Senate and the Federal Trade Commission. She holds a PhD in Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon.