44 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 6, 2009
Contrary to the assumption in much social science research that people have stable, coherent, preferences with respect to privacy, we find that concern about privacy, measured by divulgence of private information, is highly sensitive to contextual factors. We report results from 3 experiments, one of which was designed to elevate privacy concerns (paradoxically through assurances) and two of which were designed to suppress privacy concerns. This research raises serious questions about whether individuals will be able to navigate the increasingly complex issues of privacy in a self-interested fashion.
Keywords: Privacy, Behavioral Economics, Laboratory Experiment, Consumer Research, Disclosure
JEL Classification: C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
John, Leslie K. and Acquisti, Alessandro and Loewenstein, George, The Best of Strangers: Context Dependent Willingness to Divulge Personal Information (July 6, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1430482 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1430482