A Fair Exchange: Exploring How Privacy is Valued
2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Jan. 2016, pp.1881-1890
11 Pages Posted: 12 May 2017
Date Written: September 14, 2015
Superficially free information services, such as social media platforms, search websites, and mobile apps. earn revenue by collecting, aggregating, and monetizing user data. Users of these systems must give up control over this data in order to participate in the digital ecology. In a pilot study that queried the views of American university students, we explored the level of understanding young Americans have about data tracking and data mining and investigated some key value propositions about the perceived fairness of the “data-for-service” business model. Our study participants generally considered the exchange to be fair, but these feelings were nuanced, contextual, and somewhat plastic. Subjects frequently expressed distrust in the providers of popular information services. They also expressed reservations about current practices, particularly after learning more about data mining and user profiling during the focus group. We suggest that gender and age are factors in attitudes about privacy in digital environments.
Keywords: privacy, values, trust
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