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A Field Trial of Privacy Nudges for Facebook

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2014 by Yang Wang, Pedro Giovanni Leon, Alessandro Acquisti, Lorrie Cranor, Alain Forget, Norman Sadeh-Koniecpol

Anecdotal evidence and scholarly research have shown that Internet users may regret some of their online disclosures. To help individuals avoid such regrets, we designed two modifications to the Facebook web interface that nudge users to consider the content and audience of their online disclosures more carefully. We implemented and evaluated these two nudges in a 6-week field trial with 28 Facebook users. We analyzed participants' interactions with the nudges, the content of their posts, and opinions collected through surveys. We found that reminders about the audience of posts can prevent unintended disclosures without major burden; however, introducing a time delay before publishing users' posts can be perceived as both beneficial and annoying. On balance, some participants found the nudges helpful while others found them unnecessary or overly intrusive. We discuss implications and challenges for designing and evaluating systems to assist users with online disclosures.

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01/04/2014

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