Privacy and Human Behavior in the Information Age

Alessandro Acquisti, Laura Brandimarte, George Loewenstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


If this is the age of information, then privacy is the issue of our times. Activities that were once private or shared with the few now leave trails of data that expose our interests, traits, beliefs, and intentions. We communicate using e-mails, texts, and social media; find partners on dating sites; learn via online courses; seek responses to mundane and sensitive questions using search engines; read news and books on the cloud; navigate streets with geotracking systems; and celebrate our newborns, and mourn our dead, on social media profiles. Through these and other activities, we reveal information – both knowingly and unwittingly – to one another, to commercial entities, and to our governments. The monitoring of personal information is ubiquitous; its storage is so durable as to render one’s past undeletable (1) – a modern digital skeleton in the closet. Accompanying the acceleration in data collection are steady advancements in the ability to aggregate, analyze, and draw sensitive inferences from individuals’ data (2).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781316831960
ISBN (Print)9781107181106
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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