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An experimental method for the elicitation of implicit attitudes to privacy risk

Frik, Alisa and Gaudeul, Alexia (2018): An experimental method for the elicitation of implicit attitudes to privacy risk.

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Abstract

We test an experimental method for the elicitation of implicit attitudes to privacy risk. We ask individuals to decide whether to incur the risk of revealing private information to other participants. This type of risk that involves a social component corresponds to privacy threats that individuals may face in the field. We derive a measure of individual attitudes to privacy risk with our method. We empirically test the validity of this measure by running a laboratory experiment with 148 participants. Our results confirm that the willingness to incur a privacy risk is driven by a complex array of factors including risk attitudes, self-reported value for private information, and general attitudes to privacy (derived from survey methods in our study). We also observe that attitudes to privacy risk depend on the order in which measures of risk attitude are elicited, but do not depend on whether there is a preexisting threat to privacy, over which participants have no control. We explain how our method can be simplified and extended for use in eliciting attitudes to a wide range of privacy risks and various types of private information.

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