Online Privacy Behavior Laboratory Study


The study of online privacy behaviour is a relatively new field, which suffers from a lack of empirical studies and needs to be examined in greater depth. This project will identify various online privacy behaviours and test differences in user behaviour among various online contexts. For the purpose of this project, we define context as a specific aspect of online interaction and have narrowed it to: Retail Sites, Job Sites, and Social Networking Sites.


Create a test environment on which online users can make choices about personal information disclosure. Construct multiple scenarios in which users make decisions about personal information disclosure among recruitment, online shopping and social media sites.

Lab Study

Create social networking, job searching, and retail shopping contexts. Ask a similar set of users to disclose information in the environments.

Create a laboratory environment in which a group of study participants can perform various tasks related to personal information disclosure within the contexts identified above. These contexts may consist of registration and transaction processes for existing social networking, job searching and retail shopping sites. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Amazon could be used.

Recruit a group of participants to take part in a one day online privacy laboratory study.

Create Personal Information Disclosure Scenarios

Create a Project Study Plan

Execute the Study


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  2. Gross, Ralph, Alessandro Acquisti, and H. John Heinz III., "Information Revelation and Privacy in Online Social Networks", Proceedings of the 2005 ACM Workshop onPrivacy in the Electronic Society, pp. 71-80, Alexandria, Virginia, 2005
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  4. Palen, Leysia and Dourish, Paul "Unpacking "Privacy" for a Networked World" CHI 2003, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
  5. Conti, Gregory and Sobiesk, Edward "An Honest man has Nothing to Fear: User Perceptions on Web-based Information Disclosure", Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) 2007, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
  6. Strater, Katherine and Richter, Heather "Examining Privacy and Disclosure in a Social Networking Community", Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) 2007, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
  7. Andrew Boyd, Kaven Williams, Ron Chin, Scott Densten, Diana Diamond, Chris Morgenthaler “The Erosion of Personal Privacy within Social Media”, 2009 Garagano Research Day, Pace University, 2009.
  8. Andrew Boyd A Conceptual Model for post-Social Networking Online Privacy Behaviours Research Update, July 11, 2009.