Lorrie Faith Cranor is the Director and Bosch Distinguished Professor in Security and Privacy Technologies of CyLab and the FORE Systems Professor of Computer Science and of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She also directs the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS) and co-directs the MSIT-Privacy Engineering masters program. In 2016 she served as Chief Technologist at the US Federal Trade Commission, working in the office of Chairwoman Ramirez. She is also a co-founder of Wombat Security Technologies, Inc, a security awareness training company that was acquired by Proofpoint.

She has authored more than 200 research papers on online privacy, usable security, and other topics. She has played a key role in building the usable privacy and security research community, having co-edited the seminal book Security and Usability (O'Reilly 2005) and founded the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS). She also chaired the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) Specification Working Group at the W3C and authored the book Web Privacy with P3P (O’Reilly 2002). She has served on a number of boards and working groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation Board of Directors, the Computing Research Association Board of Directors, the Aspen Institute Cybersecurity Group, and on the editorial boards of several journals.

In her younger days she was honored as one of the top 100 innovators 35 or younger by Technology Review magazine. More recently she was elected to the ACM CHI Academy, named an ACM Fellow for her contributions to usable privacy and security research and education, and named an IEEE Fellow for her contributions to privacy engineering. She has also received an Alumni Achievement Award from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, the 2018 ACM CHI Social Impact Award, the 2018 International Association of Privacy Professionals Privacy Leadership Award, and (with colleagues) the 2018 IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Practice.

She was previously a researcher at AT&T-Labs Research and taught in the Stern School of Business at New York University. She holds a doctorate in Engineering and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2012-13 she spent her sabbatical as a fellow in the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University where she worked on fiber arts projects that combined her interests in privacy and security, quilting, computers, and technology. She practices yoga, plays soccer, walks to work, and runs after her three children.

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Lorrie Cranor
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Online Security and Privacy


1996 Doctor of Science, Engineering and Policy, Washington University

1996 MS, Computer Science, Washington University

1993 MS, Technology and Human Affairs, Washington University

1992 BS, Engineering and Public Policy, Washington University


Media mentions

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Misconceptions plague security and privacy tools

According to a new study out of CyLab, people hold a myriad of misconceptions about the security and privacy tools out there meant to help protect our privacy and online security.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

CyLab researchers shine at PEPR 2021

More than 500 people gathered virtually at last week’s PEPR conference, perhaps the largest gathering of privacy engineers ever.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

How to teach about privacy… using “potty talk”

Lorrie Cranor believes that bathrooms—these very intimate spaces for people of all ages—are surprisingly useful for conveying concepts related to both privacy and usability.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Interdisciplinary research for an intersectional student

Aurelia Augusta, co-advised by CyLab’s Lorrie Cranor, works to improve online experiences.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

CMU CyLab to co-host this year’s PEPR Conference

This year’s Privacy Engineering Practice and Respect (PEPR) Conference will be co-hosted by CyLab and the Future of Privacy Forum, and will be held virtually June 10-11.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

CyLab’s IoT security and privacy label effectively conveys risk, study finds

The study, presented at this week’s IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, helps bridge the gap between experts’ knowledge and consumers’ understanding of privacy and security risks.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Study explores privacy of prison communications

The study, which explores people’s understandings, attitudes, and reactions to prison surveillance, received an Honorable Mention award at this week’s Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference.

Air Force Magazine

Cranor quoted on Rolls-Royce partnership

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was quoted in Air Force Magazine on CMU’s partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop cyber tools and protection for its sophisticated aircraft engines.

Digital Privacy News

Cranor interviewed on online privacy and security

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was interviewed by Digital Privacy News about online privacy and security.


Cranor quoted on online privacy

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was quoted on GovInfoSecurity about online privacy and the Facebook account records breach.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Carnegie Mellon CyLab partners with Rolls-Royce and Purdue

As the world continues its trend toward digitization, Carnegie Mellon University has announced the launch of a new research partnership with Rolls-Royce and Purdue University to focus on enhancing the security of embedded system platforms.


Cranor quoted on combating extremist hate

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was quoted on Yahoo about fighting extremist hate.