Mary Aiken

Expertise: Cyberpsychology, Cybersecurity, Healthtech, SafetyTech, Fintech & Artificial Intelligence,
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Mary Aiken

Technology is not good or bad – it is a gateway to the internet and social media. What we see when people become overly consumed by the content on-line is what we call “weapons of mass distraction”
In terms of social media we are tapping into our psychological achilles heel. It is the “attention economy” – the monetisation of our attention. Professor Mary Aiken

Professor Mary Aiken is a world leading expert in Cyberpsychology –  the study of the impact of technology on human behaviour. She is a Professor of Forensic Cyberpsychology in the Department of Law and Criminology at the University of East London, and an Adjunct Professor at the Geary Institute for Public Policy University College Dublin, Ireland.  In June 2021 Mary was appointed Professor of Cyberpsychology & Chair of Department of Cyberpsychology at Capitol Technology University – Washington DC.

She is a Member of the INTERPOL Global Cybercrime Expert Group, an Academic Advisor to Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and a member of the EC3 Academic Advisory Board. Professor Aiken is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, Global Fellow at the Wilson Center (leading US think tank), a member of the Medico-Legal Society of Ireland, an International Affiliate Member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a Fellow of the Society for Chartered IT Professionals.

Her research interests include; AI, Fintech, SafetyTech, human factors in cybersecurity, organized cybercrime, online behavioural profiling, Internet psychology, personal cyber security and safety, online harms and child protection online.

Professor Aiken is recognised as an international expert in policy debates at the intersection of technology and human behaviour. She co-led a White House research team focused on tackling ‘Technology Facilitated Human Trafficking’ and was appointed by the Department of Communications to the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group.

More recently Mary has been at the cutting edge of a new sector called “SafetyTech” which describes the emerging online safety technologies sector.

What’s the difference between cybersecurity and cyber safety?

It’s binary; cybersecurity protects data, networks and systems;  cyber safety or “SafetyTech’ protects people. Professor Aiken recently addressed the United Nations Internet Governance Forum 2020, which for the first time had a dedicated ‘SafetyTech’ event, hosted by the UK Government.

She was an expert advisor on the UK Gov. report that launched the UK ‘SafetyTech’ sector earlier this year “Safer technology, Safer users”

She also delivered a ‘SafetyTech’ Masterclass for a global bank outlining how ‘SafetyTech’ can be applied to the Financial Services sector.

Prof. Aiken says “It is critical that networks and systems are robust, resilient and secure however, it is equally important that people are psychologically robust, resilient, secure and safe in cyber contexts. SafetyTech describes the emerging online safety technologies sector which delivers solutions to facilitate safer online experiences” 

In 2019 Professor Aiken was named in the top 50 women in GovTech in the Asia Pacific region. She is a spokesperson and expert contributor to the European Commission’s Safer Internet Day, and an Observer to the INTERPOL Specialists Group.

Prior to returning to academia, Professor Aiken worked at a board level in industry; specializing in consumer behavioral profiling, innovation and future thinking. She is a Strategic Advisor to the Paladin Capital Group Cyber fund, and a Scientific Advisor to ARM Holdings’ kids and technology project GenARM2Z.

Professor Aikens work as a Cyberpsychologist inspired the CBS primetime television series CSI: Cyber, she was a producer on the show. Her  book, ‘The Cyber Effect’ was selected by the Times as a 2016 ‘book of the year’ in the Thought category, and was listed in the top twenty science books by Nature the International Journal of Science. A published, peer-reviewed author, Professor Mary Aiken has been featured by CBS, BBC, New York Post, Newsweek, NPR, Inside Edition, Scientific American, Variety, the Atlantic,  Washington Post,  New York Times,  Sunday Times,  The Guardian,  Hollywood Reporter and Time Magazine.

The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behaviour Changes Online, A ground-breaking exploration of how cyberspace is changing the way we think, feel and behave.

Reviews

“Just as Rachel Carson launched the modern environmental movement with her Silent Spring, Mary Aiken delivers a deeply disturbing, utterly penetrating and urgently timely investigation into the perils of the largest unregulated social experiment of our time.” BOB WOODWARD

“ Drawing on a fascinating and mind-boggling range of research and knowledge, Mary Aiken has written a great, important book that terrifies then consoles by pointing a way forward so that our experience online might not outstrip our common sense. A must-read for this moment in time.” – STEVEN LEVITT, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Freakonomics

The Cyber Effect offers a fascinating and chilling look at a future we can still do something about.

Publications

Reviews

“Just as Rachel Carson launched the modern environmental movement with her Silent Spring, Mary Aiken delivers a deeply disturbing, utterly penetrating and urgently timely investigation into the perils of the largest unregulated social experiment of our time.”

– BOB WOODWARD

“ Drawing on a fascinating and mind-boggling range of research and knowledge, Mary Aiken has written a great, important book that terrifies then consoles by pointing a way forward so that our experience online might not outstrip our common sense. A must-read for this moment in time.” – STEVEN LEVITT, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Freakonomics

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