Secrets and Likes: The Drive for Privacy and the Difficulty of Achieving It in the Digital Age

Acquisti, Alessandro, Brandimarte, Laura, and Loewenstein, George, 'Secrets and Likes: The Drive for Privacy and the Difficulty of Achieving It in the Digital Age'. Journal of Consumer Psychology (Forthcoming)

47 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2020 Last revised: 22 Dec 2020

See all articles by Alessandro Acquisti

Alessandro Acquisti

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Laura Brandimarte

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

George Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Date Written: September 7, 2020

Abstract

We review different streams of social science literature on privacy with the goal of understanding consumer privacy decision making and deriving implications for policy. We focus on psychological and economic factors influencing both consumers’ desire and consumers’ ability to protect their privacy, either through individual action or the implementation of regulations applying to firms. Contrary to depictions of online sharing behaviors as careless, we show how consumers fundamentally care about online privacy, and present evidence of numerous actions they take to protect it. However, we also document how prohibitively difficult it is to attain desired, or even desirable, levels of privacy through individual action alone. The remaining instrument for privacy protection is policy intervention. However, again for both psychological and economic reasons, the collective impetus for adequate intervention is often countervailed by powerful interests that oppose it.

Keywords: Privacy, Privacy regulation, Psychology of privacy, Privacy Paradox

JEL Classification: D80

Suggested Citation

Acquisti, Alessandro and Brandimarte, Laura and Loewenstein, George F., Secrets and Likes: The Drive for Privacy and the Difficulty of Achieving It in the Digital Age (September 7, 2020). Acquisti, Alessandro, Brandimarte, Laura, and Loewenstein, George, 'Secrets and Likes: The Drive for Privacy and the Difficulty of Achieving It in the Digital Age'. Journal of Consumer Psychology (Forthcoming) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3688497

Alessandro Acquisti

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-9853 (Phone)
412-268-5339 (Fax)

Laura Brandimarte

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

George F. Loewenstein (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-8787 (Phone)
412-268-6938 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
120
Abstract Views
455
rank
266,117
PlumX Metrics