Comparing hypothetical and realistic privacy valuations

Joshua Tan, Mahmood Sharif, Sruti Bhagavatula, Matthias Beckerle, Michelle L. Mazurek, Lujo Bauer

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

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

To protect users' privacy, it is important to understand how they value personal information. Prior work identified how framing effects alter users' valuations and highlighted the difficulty in eliciting real valuations through user studies under hypothetical circumstances. However, our understanding of users' valuations remains limited to specific entities, information types, and levels of realism. We examined the effects of realism and purpose of use on users' valuations of their personal information. Specifically, we conducted an online study in which participants (N=434) were asked to assign monetary value to their personal information in the context of an information marketplace involving different receiving parties, while we experimentally manipulated the level of realism of the scenario and the timing of eliciting valuations. Among our findings is a nuanced understanding of valuation biases, including when they may not apply. For example, we find that, contrary to common belief, participants' valuations are not generally higher in hypothetical scenarios compared to realistic ones. Importantly, we find that while absolute valuations vary greatly between participants, the order in which users prioritize information types (i.e., users' relative valuations of different attributes) remains stable across the levels of realism we study. We discuss how our findings inform system design and future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWPES 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, co-located with CCS 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages168-182
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359894
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event17th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, WPES 2018, held in conjunction with the 25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Oct 15 2018 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221

Conference

Conference17th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, WPES 2018, held in conjunction with the 25th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2018
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityToronto
Period10/15/18 → …

Keywords

  • Human factors
  • Online study
  • Privacy economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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