The Effects of Privacy Awareness and Content Sensitivity on User Engagement

  • Martin StabauerEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11589)


To increase user engagement is an important goal and major business model for many web applications and online publishers. An established tool for this purpose is online polling, where user opinions, preferences, attitudes and possibly personal information are collected to help publishers to a better understanding of their target audiences. These polls are often provided as supplements to online newspaper articles, the topics of which are typically also reflected in the content of the polls. We analyzed and categorized this content, and related it with the user engagement rate given as the proportion of people who voluntarily disclose personal information. Recently, public privacy awareness has increased, especially since the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Extensive media coverage has led to public discussions about data protection and privacy. This study additionally investigated the effect of increased public privacy awareness on individual privacy awareness and subsequently user engagement. The results are based on live data of more than 60,000 polls and more than 22 million user votes, mainly collected in German-speaking countries, and give insights into user behavior when confronted with requests for personal information in various settings and over time.


Online polls Online profiling Privacy awareness Informed consent User engagement 



This research was funded in part by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) within the scope of a joint project on Poll Analytics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria

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