Design, Perception & Privacy

Design, Perception & Privacy

A study by Carnegie Mellon University explores the dichotomy between how users perceived their online privacy practices and how they unknowingly divulged personal information.

Francisco Hui
  • 9 september 2010

In a research project by Carnegie Mellon University to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers explored the dichotomy between how users perceived their online privacy practices and how they unknowingly divulged personal information.

The study asked a set of questions on three different websites: one designed to be trustworthy, a neutral site, and a privacy unfriendly site.

Of the three sites, users were more willing to admit to engaging in illicit and socially questionable activities with sites that appeared less official. Researchers concluded that this might have to do with the perception that less official looking sites were not as likely to protect your information, store, and sell your information.

The phrasing of questions also factored into how much information was provided by users.

While they were less likely to admit to have gone on date to make someone jealous. Participants would indirectly admit to it if asked:”if you have ever gone on a date just to make someone jealous, how unethical do you think it was?” which distracts users from giving away personal information.

Sites that appeared to be privacy friendly could sell their products at a higher price point than privacy unfriendly sites.

[via Technology Review]

image by bejealousofme


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