Sleights of privacy: Framing, disclosures, and the limits of transparency

Idris Adjerid, Alessandro Acquisti, Laura Brandimarte, George Loewenstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an effort to address persistent consumer privacy concerns, policy makers and the data industry seem to have found common grounds in proposals that aim at making online privacy more "transparent." Such self-regulatory approaches rely on, among other things, providing more and better information to users of Internet services about how their data is used. However, we illustrate in a series of experiments that even simple privacy notices do not consistently impact disclosure behavior, and may in fact be used to nudge individuals to disclose variable amounts of personal information. In a first experiment, we demonstrate that the impact of privacy notices on disclosure is sensitive to relative judgments, even when the objective risks of disclosure actually stay constant. In a second experiment, we show that the impact of privacy notices on disclosure can be muted by introducing simple misdirections that do not alter the objective risk of disclosure. These findings cast doubts on the likelihood of initiatives predicated around notices and transparency to address, by themselves, online privacy concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSOUPS 2013 - Proceedings of the 9th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event9th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2013 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 24 2013Jul 26 2013

Publication series

NameSOUPS 2013 - Proceedings of the 9th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security

Conference

Conference9th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle
Period7/24/137/26/13

Keywords

  • Behavioral economics
  • Biases
  • Notice and choice
  • Privacy
  • Privacy policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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