'Best Practices' in the Design of Privacy Disclosures: An Experimental Test

29 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2015 Last revised: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Omri Ben-Shahar

Omri Ben-Shahar

University of Chicago Law School

Adam Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: October 5, 2015

Abstract

One of the primary goals of privacy regulations is to transform privacy disclosure into relevant, accessible, and clearer information aids for consumers. Laws, industry standards, and consumer groups have coalesced around a list of “best practice” guides that advocate several formal properties to be used in drafting privacy disclosure. But would such formal properties actually change behavior? This question has not been rigorously studied. We conducted a survey experiment designed to test whether altering the formal properties of privacy disclosures affects respondents’: (1) willingness to disclose personal information; (2) comprehension of the disclosure; and (3) understanding of their legal rights. Our results reveal that altering the formal properties of privacy disclosures have [no/a limited/a substantial] effect on the information respondents understanding, willingness to disclose information, or understanding of their rights.

Note: This is an early version of our paper "Simplification of Privacy Disclosures: An Experimental Test" (http://ssrn.com/abstract=2711474). We have left this paper here to document our initial experimental design and hypotheses, but interested readers should look to the more recent draft.

Suggested Citation

Ben-Shahar, Omri and Chilton, Adam, 'Best Practices' in the Design of Privacy Disclosures: An Experimental Test (October 5, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2670115 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2670115

Omri Ben-Shahar

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Adam Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

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