Project title: The Price of Privacy
Project duration: 2015-2020
Project leader: Prof. Dr. Hanna Krasnova
Cooperation partners: Technische Universität Darmstadt (Prof. Peter Buxmann)
Despite significant advances in technical privacy protection mechanisms for Social Media users, sharing remains a high-risk activity. A new generation of Facebook and mobile applications have complicated this problem as third-party apps may gain access to users’ most private details circumventing well-established means of protection, such as privacy settings. Despite these dangers, users readily share information on Social Media, as well as consent to third-party apps in exchange for using the offered utilities. Whether or not privacy considerations play a role in this context, however, remains unclear. Indeed, dies privacy play a role in the decisions of Social Media users to share information? Do users notice requested privacy permissions? Which information items do users consider particularly sensitive? Is it possible to quantify the value of individual information items? Can app providers use minimization of collected data as a source of competitive advantage? Which design changes can be helpful in informing the user about possible breaches, facilitating more informed and rational decisions? To address these questions a set of online experiments with mock-ups and real apps are currently being planned. This research is likely to provide users, app providers as well as policy-makers with hand-on insights on the gravity of this problem as well as possible solutions.