Misplaced Confidences: Privacy and the Control Paradox

Laura Brandimarte, Alessandro Acquisti, George Loewenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


We test the hypothesis that increasing individuals' perceived control over the release and access of private information-even information that allows them to be personally identified--will increase their willingness to disclose sensitive information. If their willingness to divulge increases sufficiently, such an increase in control can, paradoxically, end up leaving them more vulnerable. Our findings highlight how, if people respond in a sufficiently offsetting fashion, technologies designed to protect them can end up exacerbating the risks they face.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-347
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Web 2.0 applications
  • behavioral economics of privacy
  • control
  • paradox
  • privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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