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Misplaced Confidences: Privacy and the Control Paradox

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2010, 00:00 by Laura Brandimarte, Alessandro AcquistiAlessandro Acquisti, George LoewensteinGeorge Loewenstein

We test the hypothesis that increasing individuals’ perceived control over the release and access of private information—even information that allows them to be personally identified––will increase their willingness to disclose sensitive information. If their willingness to divulge increases sufficiently, such an increase in control can, paradoxically, end up leaving them more vulnerable. Our findings highlight how, if people respond in a sufficiently offsetting fashion, technologies designed to protect them can end up exacerbating the risks they face.


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