Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Internet Users Give Up Privacy In Exchange For Trust

22.11.2007
With public concern over online fraud, new research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, has revealed that internet users will reveal more personal information online if they believe they can trust the organisation that requests the information.

‘Even people who have previously demonstrated a high level of caution regarding online privacy will accept losses to their privacy if they trust the recipient of their personal information’ says Dr Adam Joinson, who led the study.

The findings of the study are vital for those aiming to create online services that pose a potential privacy threat, such as Government agencies involved in developing ID cards. The project found that even those people who declared themselves unconcerned about privacy would soon become opposed to ID cards if the way that they were asked for information made them feel that their privacy was threatened.

The ‘Privacy and Self-Disclosure Online’ project is the first of its kind, in that rigorous methods were used to measure internet users actual behaviour. Dr Joinson explains; ‘For the first time we have research which actually analyses what people do online, rather than just looking at what they say they do.’

56 percent of internet users stated that they have concerns about privacy when they are online. The central issue was whether websites were seen as particularly trustworthy – or untrustworthy – causing users to alter their behaviour. When a website is designed to look trustworthy, people are willing to accept privacy violations. But, the same actions by an untrustworthy site leads to people behaving in a much more guarded manner.

In addition, the researchers looked at how the wording of questions and the design of response options further influenced levels of self-disclosure. If the response ‘I prefer not to say’ appears at the top of an options list, users are far less likely to disclose information. Similarly, if given the opportunity to remain vague in their responses, for instance in choosing how wide the scale that represents their salary is, they are more likely to opt for less disclosure – in this case, users tended to opt for a broad scale, such as £10,000 - £50,000 per year.

‘One of the most interesting aspects of our findings,’ says Dr Joinson, ‘is that even people who genuinely have a high level of concern regarding privacy online may act in a way that is contrary to their stated attitudes when they come across a particular set of conditions.’

The implications of this are wide ranging. Many services now require a level of online disclosure. According to this research, how a user assesses the trustworthiness of a website may have a real impact on the success of that service. In addition, research findings will be used to guide policy regarding how the public can be encouraged to make informed choices regarding online privacy.

The project has targeted a number of groups who can benefit from the findings, including health professionals, higher education professionals and survey bodies.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Dr Adam Joinson, 07939494776, joinson@gmail.com
Please also see the project website www.prisd.net
ESRC Press Office:
Alexandra Saxon, Tel: 01793 413032, email: alexandra.saxon@esrc.ac.uk
Danielle Moore, Tel: 01793 413122, email: danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk
Phillippa Coates, Tel: 01793 413119, email: phillipa.coates@esrc.ac.uk

Danielle Moore | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance

06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>