Objectives and Significance The goal of the proposed project is to compare the effectiveness of two tactics in addressing online privacy expectations –notice & consent policies in comparison to contextual privacy norms – so that organizations can better meet the privacy expectations of their users and customers online. ...
Broader Impact The results of this proposed project will explain the appropriate role of notice and consent policies in addressing online privacy expectations. As such, this study is responsive to pressing government needs and societal concerns around online privacy and has direct implications for four audiences: researchers, business leaders, policy experts, and customers/users....
NSF RESEARCH METHODS
The goal of this research is to empirically examine the factors driving individuals’ judgments about privacy expectations and to compare how contextual factors impact meeting privacy expectations relative to individual factors. The model of privacy expectations utilized here relies on context; in order to simulate the complexities of online information practices, I utilized the factorial vignette survey methodology developed to investigate human judgments (Rossi & Nock, 1982; Jasso, 2006; Wallander, 2009)....
The vignettes for this study were constructed by varying several online privacy factors for both tracking users as well as targeted advertising online. A deck of 40 vignettes for each respondent was randomly created with replacement as the respondent was taking the survey. For each rated vignette, the associated rating, factor levels, and the vignette script was preserved as well as the vignette sequence number. The vignette formats are provided in the appendix below with a sample vignette and the vignette template for each of the studies. Each respondent was assigned one type of vignette – either targeted advertising or tracking users online.
The factors and sample vignettes are available here.
Dependent Variable For each vignette, respondents were asked to judge the degree to which the situation in the vignette met their privacy expectations. Respondents were given a rating task: ‘Tell us how much you agree with the statement below. Using a sliding scale from -100 to 100, with -100 indicating ‘strongly disagree’ and 100 indicating ‘strongly agree’. The respondents were given the prompt, ‘This website meets my privacy expectations.’
Individual-Specific Factors In addition to age and gender, the respondent was asked ‘Tell us how much you agree with the statements below. On the sliding scale below, with a rating to the left being ‘strongly disagree’ to the right being ‘strongly agree.’ The rating task stated ‘In general, I trust websites.’ Their rating on this question was used as their general level of trust in websites. The second rating task stated, ‘In general, I believe privacy is important.’
The surveys were first piloted on Amazon Mechanical Turk to check for readability and reliability of the respondents’ ratings. The sample for the studies report here was recruited by GfK/KnowledgeNetworks (http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/knpanel/index.html;), which is the first online research panel representative of the entire U.S. population. ...
For the two surveys, 1,574 respondents rated 40 vignettes resulting in 62,960 rated vignettes or observations for the privacy expectations surveys (targeting: 779 respondents and 31,160 vignettes; tracking: 795/31,800). Summary statistics on the sample are in the table below.
TABLE: Targeting and Tracking Vignette Survey Samples.
Shilton, K. & Martin, K. Mobile Privacy Expectations in Context. 2016. The Information Society. This paper reports on survey findings that identify contextual factors of importance in the mobile data ecosystem. Our survey demonstrated that overall, very common activities of mobile application companies such as harvesting and reusing location data, accelerometer readings, demographic data, contacts, keywords, name, images and friends do not meet users’ privacy expectations. But these differences are modulated by both information type and social context.
Martin, K. 2016. Data Aggregators, Big Data, and Responsibility Online- Who is tracking us online and should they stop? The Information Society.
The goal of this paper is to examine the strategic choices of firms collecting consumer data online and to identify the roles and obligations of the actors within the current network of online tracking. In doing so, the focus shifts from placing the onus on individuals to make an informed choice to justifying the roles and responsibilities of firms when gathering, aggregating, and using consumers’ interests or behavior online.
Martin, K. 2013. Transaction Costs, Privacy, and Trust: The laudable goals and ultimate failure of notice and choice online. First Monday 18(12).
The goal of this paper is to outline the laudable goals and ultimate failure of notice and choice to respect privacy online and suggest an alternative framework to manage and research privacy. This paper suggests that the online environment is not conducive to rely on explicit agreements to respect privacy.
Martin, K. 2015. Understanding Privacy Online: Development of a Social Contract Approach to Privacy. Journal of Business Ethics.
Recent scholarship in philosophy, law, and information systems suggests that respecting privacy entails understanding the implicit privacy norms about what, why, and to whom information is shared within specific relationships. These social contracts are important to understand if firms are to adequately manage the privacy expectations of stakeholders. ...
Martin, K. & Shilton, K. 2015. Why Experience Matters to Privacy- How Context-Based Experience Moderates Consumer Privacy Expectations for Mobile Applications. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Analysis of the data suggests that experience using mobile applications did moderate the effect of individual preferences and contextual factors on privacy judgments. Experience changed the equation respondents used to assess whether data collection and use scenarios met their privacy expectations. Discovering the bridge between 2 dominant theoretical models enables future privacy research to consider both personal and contextual variables by taking differences in experience into account.
Martin, K. 2015. Ethical Issues in the Big Data Industry. MISQ Executive. This article examines Big Data within the context of the Big Data Industry and identified persistent issues and points of weakness in current market practices. Importantly, the article identifies the Big Data Industry as having both economic and ethical issues at the individual firm, supply chain and general industry level and has suggested associated solutions to preserve sustainable industry practices.
Martin, K. 2015. Privacy Notices as Tabula Rasa- How consumers project expectations on privacy notices. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. Submitted November 2014.
The results of this study suggest respondents perceived the privacy notice as offering greater protections than the actual privacy notice. Perhaps most problematic, respondents projected the important factors of their privacy expectations onto the privacy notice. In other words, privacy notices became a tabula rasa for users’ privacy expectations.
Shilton, K. & Martin, K. forthcoming Mobile Privacy Expectations in Context. The Information Society.
An increasing amount of social activity and commerce is performed using applications running on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. During these activities, mobile applications collect increasing amounts of personal data. Consumers, organizations, and regulators struggle to address privacy expectations for these new forms of data collection across a diverse set of activities....
- American Statistical Association Annual Meeting (Boston, MA). August 2014.
- American Association of Opinion Researcher’s Annual Meeting (Anaheim, CA). May 2014.
- John Carroll University. April 2013.
- Society of Business Ethics (Orlando, FL). August 2013.
- Carnegie Mellon University. March 2014.
- New York University. March 2014.
- Society of Business Ethics (Boston, MA). August 2012.
- Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (Cincinnati, OH). March 2012.
- Privacy Law Scholars Conference (Washington, DC). June 2014.
- Future Privacy Forum. April 2014.
- TPRC (GMU). September 2013.
- Privacy Law Scholars Conference (Berkeley, CA). June 2013.