Sharing is Daring: An Experiment on Consent, Chilling Effects and a Salient Privacy Nudge

Posted: 27 Nov 2017

See all articles by Yoan Hermstrüwer

Yoan Hermstrüwer

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Department of Law

Stephan Dickert

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: November 21, 2017

Abstract

Privacy law rests on the assumption that government surveillance may increase the general level of conformity and thus generate a chilling effect. In a study that combines elements of a lab and a field experiment, we show that salient and incentivized consent options are sufficient to trigger this behavioral effect. Salient ex ante consent options may lure people into giving up their privacy and increase their compliance with social norms – even when the only immediate risk of sharing information is mere publicity on a Google website. A right to be forgotten (right to deletion), however, seems to reduce neither privacy valuations nor chilling effects. In spite of low deletion costs people tend to stick with a retention default. The study suggests that consent architectures may play out on social conformity rather than on consent choices and privacy valuations. Salient notice and consent options may not merely empower users to make an informed consent decision. Instead, they can trigger the very effects that privacy law intends to curb.

Keywords: Behavioral Law and Economics, Privacy Law, Chilling Effects, Consent Right to be Forgotten, Dictator Games, Social Image, Social Norms, Nudges

JEL Classification: A13, C91, C93, D03, K29

Suggested Citation

Hermstrüwer, Yoan and Dickert, Stephan, Sharing is Daring: An Experiment on Consent, Chilling Effects and a Salient Privacy Nudge (November 21, 2017). International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 51, 2017, pp. 38-49, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3075095

Yoan Hermstrüwer (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Bonn - Department of Law ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Stephan Dickert

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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