Cars, Condoms, and Facebook

  • Vaibhav GargEmail author
  • L. Jean Camp
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7807)


Participation on Online Social Networks (OSNs) inherently requires information sharing and thus exposes individuals to privacy risks. Risk mitigation then has been encouraged through adoption of usable privacy controls. Apparently stronger privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) decrease both risk and perceptions of risk. As a result individuals feel safer and may respond by in fact accepting more risk. Such perverse results have been observed offline. Risk perception offline has been understood to be a function of characteristics of the risks involved rather than as a calculus grounded only in the probability of the risk and the magnitude of harm. In this work we use nine characteristics of risk from a classic and proven offline model of perceived risk to conduct a survey based evaluation of perceptions of privacy risks on Facebook. We find that these dimensions of risk provide a statistically significant explanation of perceived risk of information sharing on Facebook.


Privacy Facebook Risk perception Control 


  1. 1.
    Acquisti, A., Grossklags, J.: Privacy and rationality in individual decision making. IEEE Secur. Priv. 3(1), 26–33 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Adams, J.: Cars, cholera, and cows, vol. 335, pp. 1–49. CATO Institute (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barnes, S.B.: A privacy paradox: Social networking in the united states. First Monday 11(9) (2006)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brandimarte, L., Acquisti, A., Loewenstein, G.: Misplaced confidences: privacy and the control paradox. Soc. Psychol. Pers. Sci. 4, 340–347 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Caine, K., Kisselburgh, L.G., Lareau, L.: Audience visualization influences disclosures in online social networks. In: Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2011, pp. 1663–1668. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cassell, M., Halperin, D., Shelton, J., Stanton, D.: Risk compensation: the achilles’ heel of innovations in HIV prevention? Br. Med. J. 332(7541), 605–607 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Christofides, E., Muise, A., Desmarais, S.: Hey mom, whats on your facebook? Comparing facebook disclosure and privacy in adolescents and adults. Soc. Psychol. Pers. Sci. 3(1), 48–54 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Farahmand, F., Spafford, E.H.: Understanding insiders: an analysis of risk-taking behavior. Inf. Syst. Front. 15, 5–15 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fischhoff, B., Slovic, P., Lichtenstein, S., Read, S., Combs, B.: How is safe enough? A psychometric study of attitudes towards technological risks and benefits. Policy Sci. 9(2), 127–152 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Garg, V., Camp, L.J.: End user perception of online risk under uncertainty. In: 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Science, pp. 3278–3287. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Garg, V., Nilizadeh, S.: Craigslist scams and community composition: investigating online fraud victimization. In: International Workshop on Cyber Crime. IEEE (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Grossklags, J., Acquisti, A.: When 25 cents is too much: an experiment on willingness-to-sell and willingness-to-protect personal information. In: Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hingson, R., McGovern, T., Howland, J., Heeren, T., Winter, M., Zakocs, R.: Reducing alcohol-impaired driving in Massachusetts: the saving lives program. Am. J. Public Health 86(6), 791–797 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hoy, M.G., Milne, G.: Gender differences in privacy-related measures for young adult facebook users. J. Interact. Advertising 10(2), 28–45 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lipford, H.R., Besmer, A., Watson, J.: Understanding privacy settings in facebook with an audience view. In: Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Usability, Psychology, and Security, UPSEC 2008, pp. 2:1–2:8. USENIX Association, Berkeley (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Malhotra, N.K., Kim, S.S., Agarwal, J.: Internet Users’ Information Privacy Concerns (IUIPC): the construct, the scale, and a causal model. Info. Sys. Res. 15, 336–355 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Malin, B., Sweeney, L.: Re-identification of dna through an automated linkage process. In: Proceedings of the AMIA Symposium, p. 423. American Medical Informatics Association (2001)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nissenbaum, H.: Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford Law & Politics, Stanford (2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Norcie, G., Caine, K., Camp, L.J.: Eliminating stop-points in the installation and use of anonymity systems: a usability evaluation of the tor browser bundle. In: HotPETS (2012)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Patil, S., Kapadia, A.: Are you exposed?: Conveying information exposure. In: Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work Companion, pp. 191–194. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Preibusch, S., Krol, K., Beresford, A.: The privacy economics of voluntary over-disclosure in web forms. In: 11th Annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security, WEIS (2012)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Slovic, P., Fischhoff, B., Lichtenstein, S.: Why study risk perception. Risk Anal. 2(2), 83–93 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Solove, D.: Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security. Yale University Press, New Haven (2011)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tversky, A., Kahneman, D.: Judgment under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. Science 185(4157), 1124 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wang, Y., Norcie, G., Komanduri, S., Acquisti, A., Leon, P., Cranor, L.: I regretted the minute i pressed share: a qualitative study of regrets on facebook. In: Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, p. 10. ACM (2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations