On-Line Privacy Behavior: Using User Interfaces for Salient Factors


The problem of privacy in social networks is well documented within literature; users have pri- vacy concerns however, they consistently disclose their sensitive information and leave it open to unintended third parties. While numerous causes of poor behaviour have been suggested by re- search the role of the User Interface (UI) and the system itself is underexplored. The field of Per- suasive Technology would suggest that Social Network Systems persuade users to deviate from their normal or habitual behaviour. This paper makes the case that the UI can be used as the basis for user empowerment by informing them of their privacy at the point of interaction and remind- ing them of their privacy needs. The Theory of Planned Behaviour is introduced as a potential theoretical foundation for exploring the psychology behind privacy behaviour as it describes the salient factors that influence intention and action. Based on these factors of personal attitude, subjective norms and perceived control, a series of UIs are presented and implemented in con- trolled experiments examining their effect on personal information disclosure. This is combined with observations and interviews with the participants. Results from this initial, pilot experiment suggest groups with privacy salient information embedded exhibit less disclosure than the control group. This work reviews this approach as a method for exploring privacy behaviour and propos- es further work required.

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Hughes-Roberts, T. and Kani-Zabihi, E. (2014) On-Line Privacy Behavior: Using User Interfaces for Salient Factors. Journal of Computer and Communications, 2, 220-231. doi: 10.4236/jcc.2014.24029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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