Conference Announcement: Vectors of Data Disclosure

Now that #ica22 is over, it is time to announce the upcoming “Vectors of Data Disclosure” (June 27-June 28, 2022) conference organized by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

How do different cultural frameworks and legal regulations influence whether or not we decide to disclose our personal data? What factors interact with each other to shape our reception of data protection? Is, for example, a Japanese citizen more likely to disclose his personal data than a Ghanaian one? And why or why not is this so?

Registration is now open for the bidt project’s “Vectors of Data Disclosure” conference  on 27th and 28th June in Munich, where we will discuss this and further questions of individual data disclosure on a worldwide scale. Researchers from the participating disciplines of cultural studies, business information systems and law including Sabine Trepte (University of Hohenheim), Lothar Determann (Baker McKenzie / FU Berlin), Hanna Krasnova (University of Potsdam), Lemi Baruh (Koc Univerity Istanbul), Normann Witzleb (Chinese University of Hongkong and Monash University Australia) and Jens Grossklags (TU Munich) will present and debate their different perspectives with other international experts.

You can register via: https://www.bidt.digital/event/conference-vectors-of-data-disclosure/

And here is the conference program.

Call for Papers: ICA-Preconference on Comparative Privacy and the Literacies of a Networked Age

For those of you who would like to spend a couple of nice spring days in the lovely city of Mulhouse in eastern France while digging deep into questions related to how thinking about privacy from a comparative lens can enhance our understanding of privacy and related competencies, here is a nice opportunity for doing both.

The Comparative Privacy Research Network and the CEJEM (Research Network on Youth and Media) are jointly organizing the following pre-conference at the ICA.

Title: Comparative Privacy and the Literacies of a Networked Age: A Critical Approach

Location: OFF-SITE | Université de Haute-Alsace, UHA’s Campus Fonderie – FSESJ (Faculté des Sciences Economiques Sociales et Juridiques), 16, rue de la Fonderie in Mulhouse

Date: May 25 – 9:30 – 17:00 – 2022

Detailed information on the pre-conference is available at: https://comparativeprivacy.org/2022-ica-preconference/

This pre-conference aims to attend to privacy literacy’s critical comparative nature by bringing together scholars that examine the cultural, political, and otherwise contextualized aspects of privacy literacy. The ultimate goal is to enhance conversation in communication studies about the ways in which systematic comparative cross-cultural analyses of privacy literacy may be conceptualized, theorized, and operationalized in novel ways. This pre-conference will be organized in two parts: First, keynotes will provide inputs on the central issues and concepts involved, such as privacy, comparative research, and media literacy. Secondly, interactive sessions will focus on three main aspects of comparative privacy literacy research, namely: conceptualization, operationalization, and collaboration. These sessions will bring together competitively selected presentations followed by a discussion on the challenges of conceptualizing and operationalizing critical privacy literacy from a cross-cultural perspective. The presentation sessions will be followed by group activities where participants will discuss solutions to particular challenges. This final session will take the form of a guided discussion in the larger group that will build on the diversity of the group in order to consider new, future-oriented research questions and forge future collaborations.

Submission: This pre-conference invites unpublished, innovative papers focusing on, but not limited to:

  • research on media/digital literacy and mediated communication, where knowledge or skills regarding privacy plays a role;
  • empirical studies focusing on privacy literacy in a comparative fashion;
  • current and new topics for literacies, including the digital ecology, sobriety, algorithmic and privacy literacies, as well as persistent areas of inequalities ;
  • challenges and opportunities represented by comparative approaches to studying privacy from a literacy perspective;
  • qualitative and/or quantitative methodological approaches to studying privacy and relevant literacies comparatively;
  • challenges and opportunities represented by comparative approaches to studying privacy and related literacies;
    discussions of pertinent dimensions of comparative privacy research;
  • explorations of potential antecedents, mediators, and outcomes of privacy-related perceptions, decision-making, and behavior;
    conceptualizations and interpretations of privacy and privacy outcomes in non-WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic) contexts.

Both early-career and senior scholars are welcome.

SUBMISSION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Authors should submit an extended abstract of 800 words (not including references, figures, and tables) to:

https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=cprn2022ica#

By January 31, 2022.

The extended abstracts should include the main idea/argument, research questions, a short literature review and/or theoretical perspectives, information on methodology and empirical findings (if applicable). We welcome different approaches, including discussions of literature, concepts and theories, historical perspectives, and empirical analyses. All submitted abstracts must include name, affiliation and contact details. Decisions on acceptance of the extended abstracts will be made by February 28, 2022. Authors of accepted abstracts are expected to attend the pre-conference and present in person.

AoIR Satellite Event on Comparing Fuzzy Things

The Comparative Privacy Research Network is organizing a workshop on issues related to comparing fuzzy concepts like love, trust, and privacy. Below is the description of the workshop from the CPRN website:

“Internet researchers often engage in the study of complex, multidimensional, and culturally sensitive ideas. Deploying such concepts in comparative research settings is critically important to knowledge advancement, yet challenging to implement in practice. This workshop is designed to engage members of the AoIR community in exploring the conceptualization and study of fuzzy concepts, such as trust, love, sharing, and happiness, in a comparative fashion. It will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas about how such comparative work can be conducted across disciplines. 

The session will include brief framing presentations on a comparative research framework, with examples of how this might work when studying privacy. Breakout group sessions will augment these sessions and allow participants to explore the applicability of this framework to other, fuzzy concepts using a variety of methodological approaches.”

If interested, you can register for the workshop by clicking here.

Do online privacy concerns predict privacy behavior?

In a new article, we (Lemi Baruh, Ekin Seçinti, Zeynep Cemalcılar) meta-analytically chime in on the frequently debated concept of “privacy paradox”.  We  investigate whether users’ reported privacy concerns and literacy influence the extent to which they utilize online services (including but not limited to SNSs), disclose personal information and adopt measures to protect their privacy. Privacy concerns did not predict SNS use; however, it was associated with lower disclosure of information, lower use of other types of online services (e.g., e-commerce), and higher tendency to engage in privacy protective measures.

Click here for access to the article.

Click here for access to additional information about the meta-analysis.

Cyberpsychology’s special issue on self-disclosure and privacy published

Privacy and disclosure special issue of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace edited by Michel Walrave, Sonja Utz, Alexander P. Schouten, Wannes Heirman is now out and available for download (and hopefully for wide reading, discussing, citing).

Also included in the special issue is an article from SIMLAB (Murat Kezer, Barış Sevi, Zeynep Cemalcılar, and Lemi Baruh). The article compares three age groups  (18-40, 41-65, 65+) in terms of their tendency to self-disclose on Facebook, and their privacy attitudes, privacy literacy and use of privacy protective measures.

The study reports that young adults are more likely than other age groups to self-disclose on Facebook; yet, they are also the age group that is most likely to utilize privacy protective measures on Facebook. Furthermore, using a multidimensional approach to privacy attitude measurement, the study reports that while young adults are more likely to be concerned about their own privacy, mature adults tend to be more concerned about others’ privacy. Finally, the findings of the study suggest that the impact of privacy attitudes on privacy-protective behaviors is strongest among mature adults.

Here is the link to the full article.

We thank the editors of the special issue Michel Walrave, Sonja Utz, Alexander P. Schouten, Wannes Heirman for the opportunity.

PhD Studentship(s) at Social Interaction and Media Lab, Koç University, Istanbul

SIMLAB at Koç University, Istanbul is looking for candidates for PhD studentships interested in working in the following topics:

  • Online socialization
  • Impression formation, relationship initiation and maintanance on social media
  • Self-disclosure, communication and detection of emotions on social media
  • Social media and identity
  • Privacy attitudes, preferences and privacy management behavior of users

Candidates should have a background, and preferably graduate training, in social psychology, media studies, or other related fields. Candidates who have applied experience in quantitative research methods, statistical analysis, field management, and/or programming languages are particularly welcome.

Information regarding application procedures for PhD studentships are provided in the Design, Technology, & Society (DTS) PhD program webpage. Further inquiries about the application procedures should be sent to simlab@ku.edu.tr

Candidates who are accepted as PhD students will receive scholarships as described in the webpage of the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University

simlab_dark

Why “notice and choice” approaches to privacy reduce our privacy

In a recently published article, we (Lemi Baruh and Mihaela Popescu) discuss the limitations of reliance on market mechanisms for privacy protection.

Self-management frameworks such as “notice or choice” are inherently biased towards 1) reducing the level of privacy enjoyed by the members of the society and 2) creating privacy inequities (i.e., privacy haves and have nots). In the article we also discuss an alternative way of approaching privacy protection in the age of big data analytics.

Here is the abstract:

This article looks at how the logic of big data analytics, which promotes an aura of unchallenged objectivity to the algorithmic analysis of quantitative data, preempts individuals’ ability to self-define and closes off any opportunity for those inferences to be challenged or resisted. We argue that the predominant privacy protection regimes based on the privacy self-management framework of “notice and choice” not only fail to protect individual privacy, but also underplay privacy as a collective good. To illustrate this claim, we discuss how two possible individual strategies—withdrawal from the market (avoidance) and complete reliance on market-provided privacy protections (assimilation)—may result in less privacy options available to the society at large. We conclude by discussing how acknowledging the collective dimension of privacy could provide more meaningful alternatives for privacy protection.

Sharing sensitive information on Twitter and its “rubbernecking effect”

In a new article titled “Rubbernecking Effect of Intimate Information on Twitter: When Getting Attention Works Against Interpersonal Attraction” published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, we (Lemi Baruh and Zeynep Cemalcılar) discuss the effects of sharing sensitive (intimate) information in social media platform Twitter.

The article focuses on how viewers of a Twitter account react to sensitive information they see on a Twitter profile: While viewers of a Twitter account may initially stick around longer to look at a profile containing more sensitive information, they find profiles sharing sensitive information less attractive. We link this reaction to satisfaction of a voyeuristic curiosity. Just like the rubbernecking behaviour of “a driver passing by a car accident, the satisfaction of voyeuristic curiosity through profile browsing on Twitter is temporarily enjoyed at the moment when the opportunity is available”.

Below is the abstract:

Social networking sites offer individuals an opportunity to document and share information about themselves, as well as engaging in social browsing to learn about others. As a micro-blogging site within which users often share information publicly, Twitter may be a particularly suitable venue that can help satisfy both of these motivations. This study investigates how viewers react to disclosure of intimate information on Twitter. Specifically, the impact of disclosure intimacy is studied on attention that viewers pay to a Twitter page, reduction in their uncertainty about the attributes of the page owner, and their interpersonal attraction to the owner of the page. A total of 618 adult online panel members viewed one of six Twitter pages that contained either low-intimacy or high-intimacy tweets. Analyses indicated that viewers exposed to the Twitter pages containing high-intimate information paid more attention to the pages, were more confident about the attributions they could make about the page owner, yet were less willing to pursue further socialization with the page owner. Furthermore, attributional confidence mediated and perceived similarity moderated the relationship between disclosure intimacy and interpersonal attraction. This interaction between disclosure intimacy and perceived similarity was such that viewers who considered the page owner to be similar (dissimilar) to themselves were more (less) socially attracted to page owners who disclosed intimate information. These findings suggest that while intimate information shared on a Twitter page draws attention, this does not necessarily result in further socialization with the page owner—an effect we named as the “rubbernecking effect” of intimate information.

Introducing a “multidimensional privacy attitudes scale”

As one of our first research project in SIMLAB (founded in late 2012), we (Lemi Baruh & Zeynep Cemalcılar) had been working on developing a multidimensional privacy orientation scale. The scale is summarised in an article published in November 2014 in Personality and Individual Differences.

The article reports that individuals’ decisions about level of privacy they need is determined not only by concern about themselves but also concern about privacy of other individuals:

  • There are four distinction dimensions of privacy:  (1) belief in the value of “privacy as a right”; (2) “other-contingent privacy”; (3) “concern about own informational privacy” and (4) “concern about privacy of others.”
  • A segmentation of users in terms of these four dimensions of privacy points to three distinct types of users: 1) privacy advocates,who are concerned about both their own and other people’s privacy; (2) privacy individualists, who are concerned mostly about their own privacy, and (3) privacy indifferents, whose score on all dimensions are lower than other segments.User segments are privacy advocates, privacy individualists, privacy indifferents.
  • Users who value others’ privacy are less likely to invade informational privacy.
  • Privacy individualists use social network sites for satisfying voyeuristic curiosity.
  • Reciprocating disclosure is more likely for privacy advocates than for individualists.

The multidimensional scale has 18 items, all measured using a 5-point likert scale (ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree):

Dimension 1: Privacy as a Right

  • Privacy laws should be strengthened to protect personal privacy.
  • People need legal protection against misuse of personal data.
  • If I were to write a constitution today, I would probably add privacy as a fundamental right.

Dimension 2: Concern about Own Informational Privacy

  • When I share the details of my personal life with somebody, I often worry that he/she will tell those details to other people.
  • I am concerned that people around me know too much about me.
  • I am concerned with the consequences of sharing identity information
  • I worry about sharing information with more people than I intend to.

Dimension 3: Other-Contingent Privacy

  • If somebody is not careful about protecting their own privacy, I cannot trust them about respecting mine.
  • If I am to enjoy some privacy in my life, I need my friends to be careful about protecting their privacy as well.
  • I could never trust someone as my confidant if they go around sharing details about their own private lives.
  • The level of privacy that I can enjoy depends on the extent to which people around me protect their own privacy.

Dimension 4: Concern about Privacy of Others

  • It is important for me to respect the privacy of individuals, even if they are not careful about protecting their own privacy.
  • I value other people’s privacy as much as I value mine
  • Even when somebody is not careful about his/her privacy, I do my best to respect that person’s privacy
  • I always do my best not to intrude into other people’s private lives
  • Respect for others’ privacy should be an important priority in social relations

Please feel free to use (and/or translate) scale. We would appreciate it greatly if you could notify us about an translation of the scale.

Citation information: 

Baruh, Lemi, and Zeynep Cemalcılar. 2014. “It Is More than Personal: Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Privacy Orientation Scale.” Personality and Individual Differences 70 (November). Elsevier Ltd: 165–70. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.06.042.

Fulltext of New Article on Privacy Protection in Mobile Environments

A new article entitled “Captive But Mobile: Privacy Concerns and Remedies for the Mobile Environment” is now published in The Information Society 

Authors: Mihaela Popescu (California State University, San Bernardino) and Lemi Baruh (Koç University, Istanbul)

Abstract
We use the legal framework of captive audience to examine the Federal Trade Commission’s 2012 privacy guidelines as applied to mobile marketing. We define captive audiences as audiences without functional opt-out mechanisms to avoid situations of coercive communication. By analyzing the current mobile marketing ecosystem, we show that the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy guidelines inspired by the Canadian “privacy by design” paradigm fall short of protecting consumers against invasive mobile marketing in at least three respects: (a) the guidelines overlook how, in the context of data monopolies, the combination of location and personal history data threatens autonomy of choice; (b) the guidelines focus exclusively on user control over data sharing, while ignoring control over communicative interaction; (c) the reliance on market mechanisms to produce improved privacy policies may actually increase opt-out costs for consumers. We conclude by discussing two concrete proposals for improvement: a “home mode” for mobile privacy and target-specific privacy contract negotiation.
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