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Privacy attitudes, incentives and behaviours

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Presentation at Data Protection Governance symposium, IViR, University of Amsterdam, 20 June 2011, and at Hong Kong University law school seminar on 2 Mar 2012

Presentation at Data Protection Governance symposium, IViR, University of Amsterdam, 20 June 2011, and at Hong Kong University law school seminar on 2 Mar 2012

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  • Imposes cost of future invasive advertising
  • Transcript

    • 1. Privacy attitudes, incentives and behaviours Dr Ian Brown Oxford Internet Institute
    • 2. Overview
      • The privacy paradox
      • Younger people and privacy
      • Location privacy
      • Medical privacy
      • Behavioural economics and market failure
      • Lessons for data protection governance
    • 3. Privacy concerns Source: Flash Eurobarometer #225 (2008: 7)
    • 4. Attitudes vs. disclosure Spiekermann, Grossklags and Berendt (2002)
    • 5. Young people and privacy
      • Most young people see Internet as private space for talking to (already-known) friends, and target information to peer group
      • Lenhart et al. (2007) found stricter access controls on photos/videos by teens than adults (76% v 58% most of time/sometimes)
      • Teens showed higher privacy concerns with parental monitoring; parental discussions increased privacy concerns and reduced disclosure
      • Adult users of social media are developing similar behaviours – consequence of mediation, not age (Marwick et al. 2010)
    • 6. Young adults and privacy
      • Hoofnagle et al. (2010) found very limited understanding of privacy laws among young adults – 42% answered all 5 questions incorrectly
      • Jones et al. surveyed 7,421 students at 40 US colleges. 75% concerned about passwords, SSNs, credit card numbers but few about SNSes due to insignificant consequences (2009)
    • 7. Student information disclosure What kind of personal information do you post online? (first year N=177, final year N=133) Oostveen (2010)
    • 8. Sampling Facebook Experiences
      • Mobile phones carried by students
      • Location retrieved with embedded GPS
      • Subjects answer questions (e.g., sharing choices)
      • Facebook Application
      • Location disclosed to friends
      • Server
      • Data are collected in our server
      • Questions are sent to participants through SMS
      • Aims
      • To understand:
      • Why do students share their location
      • How (text, picture)
      • When, to whom they share this location
      • At what locations are they more willing to share
    • 9. Location sharing
      • 40 participants responded to over 2000 questions over 2 weeks
      • Participants are more willing to share their location when they are in ‘Leisure’ or ‘Academic’ locations than in the ‘Library’ or in ‘Residential’ areas.
      Abdesslem, Parris & Henderson (2010)
    • 10. HIV record privacy
      • Interviews with 41 African women living with HIV in London who use the internet in relation to their health
      • 6 months of fieldwork in 3 HIV clinics in London
      • 2 focus groups at community support groups
      • Participants asked about their experiences of being diagnosed and living with HIV, information seeking and internet use
      • Privacy not mentioned by interviewer
      • Aimed at ‘foregrounding practicalities’ in interviews (Mol, 2002), and interviews were analysed and coded for how participants spoke about ‘doing privacy’
      Manzanderani and Brown (2011)
    • 11. Patient preferences
      • Strong preference for HIV physicians over others such as GPs due to perceptions of different types of confidentiality practices and professionalism
      • Strong resistance to moving practitioners
      • Continuity of care stressed as important for privacy
      • Took a long time to develop relationships of trust with a given practitioner
      • People from similar ethnic and cultural background often resisted as a information source for fear of knowledge of a HIV positive diagnosis spreading to community and country of origin
      Manzanderani and Brown (2011)
    • 12. Sharing medical data Source: The Use of Personal Health Information in Medical Research, Medical Research Council, June 2007 pp.54-55
    • 13. Privacy is contextual
      • “ Contrary to the assumption … that people have stable, coherent, preferences with respect to privacy, we find that concern about privacy … is highly sensitive to contextual factors”
        • Privacy salience primes concerns
        • “ People, it seems, feel more comfortable providing personal information on unprofessional sites that are arguably particularly likely to misuse it.”
        • “ Covert inquiries … do not trigger concerns about privacy, and hence promote disclosure.”
      John, Acquisti and Loewenstein (2011)
    • 14. Homo economicus vs. sapiens
      • Bounded rationality
      • Privacy risks are highly probabilistic, cumulative, and difficult to calculate
      • Most individuals bad at deferred gratification, and have time-inconsistent preferences
      Acquisti (2009)
    • 15. Market failures in privacy
      • Negative externalities – sale of personal data without compensation to subject
      • Information asymmetry – data gathered ubiquitously and invisibly in a way few consumers understand
      • Privacy policies unreadable and difficult to verify/enforce, with unstable equilibrium. Seals and lemon markets
      • Information industries are highly concentrated; privacy ignored by competition regulators
    • 16. Correcting market failure
      • Minimum standards of care – organisational and technical protections
      • Simplified privacy policies and breach disclosure reduce information asymmetry
      • More effective enforcement (group actions?) internalises cost of harms
      • New focus by privacy regulators on interoperability and defaults?
      Romanosky and Acquisti (2009), Brown and Marsden (2008)
    • 17. Lessons for DP governance
      • Basing privacy protections on fully-rational individual behaviour will have limited impact
      • Privacy and competition regulators may have to work together to ensure consumers have meaningful privacy choices
      • Continued regulatory intervention is needed to protect individual and societal interests in privacy
    • 18. References

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