Headshot of Jessica Colnago
Headshot of Jessica Colnago


Jessica Colnago

Carnegie Mellon University


Jessica is a 2nd year PhD student in the Societal Computing program at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory and the Privacy Economics Experiments Lab, where she is co-advised by Professor Alessandro Acquisti and Professor Lorrie Faith Cranor. She received a MSc in Computer Science and a BEng in Computer Engineering from the Federal University of São Carlos.

Jessica’s research is on usable privacy and security — the intersection between privacy, security, and human-computer interaction research.

Research Summary

People are often concerned about their privacy on social networks, or when they see sensing devices in their environment. However, in order to proactively address privacy concerns, it is important to understand more specifically what people are concerned about and why. Are social network concerns primarily related to the platform or other users of the network? Do peoples’ concerns about privacy controls stem from inadequate controls, uncertainty about how to find or use existing ones, or misconceptions about what controls are available and how they work?

Jessica’s research is centered in uncovering people’s most salient privacy concerns and behaviors surrounding new technologies, from where these concerns and behaviors arise, and users’ preferred approach to privacy in different data sharing contexts, such as social networking sites (SNSs) and the Internet of Things (IoT). By knowing what is on people’s minds we can better inform the design of technology and reduce adoption failures due to ill addressed concerns or mismatched expectations.