Predicting Privacy and Security Attitudes

TitlePredicting Privacy and Security Attitudes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEgelman, S., & Peer E.
Published inComputers and Society: The Newsletter of ACM SIGCAS
Other Numbers3738

While individual differences in decision-making have been examined within the social sciences for several decades, this research has only recently begun to be applied by computer scientists to examine privacy and security attitudes (and ultimately behaviors). Specifically, several researchers have shown how different online privacy decisions are correlated with the “Big Five” personality traits. However, in our own research, we show that the five factor model is actually a weak predictor of privacy preferences and behaviors, and that other well-studied individual differences in the psychology literature are much stronger predictors. We describe the results of several experiments that showed how decision-making style and risk-taking attitudes are strong predictors of privacy attitudes, as well as a new scale that we developed to measure security behavior intentions. Finally, we show that privacy and security attitudes are correlated, but orthogonal.


This work was partially supported by funding provided to ICSI through National Science Foundation grant CNS : 1343433 (“EAGER: Designing Individualized Privacy and Security Systems”). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors or originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Bibliographic Notes

Computers and Society: The Newletter of ACM SIGCAS, Vol. 45, Issue 1, pp. 22-28

Abbreviated Authors

S. Egelman and E. Peer

ICSI Research Group

Usable Security and Privacy

ICSI Publication Type

Article in journal or magazine