CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

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Cars, Condoms, and the Privacy Paradox: A Case Study with Facebook

Vaibhav Garg, Drexel University

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June 26, 2013 3:30pm, in DC 1304


Privacy paradox is not unique. Expressed preferences differ distinctly from observed behaviors for a diversity of risks, e.g. health behaviors. Is it that people don't care, people don't know, or that they know and care but are unable to implement their risk preferences? Given that individual decisions are boundedly rational, how are privacy decisions informed by the perception of risk? What are the underlying determinants of perceived risk for information sharing online? I present results from a survey based study that addresses these questions. Specifically, this is a first comparison of individual risk preferences, usability rating of privacy controls, knowledge about the risks, and perceived risk.

Perceived risk is examined by using nine determinants that have been found relevant for risks offline. Is the risk voluntarily taken? Is the impact of the risk immediate or delayed? Does the individual understand the implications of the risk? What is the perceived effectiveness of experts? Does the risk appear controllable? Is the risk new or old? Is it commonly encountered or rarely available? Does it impact individuals or communities? How severe are the consequences of risk taking behavior?


Vaibhav Garg is a post doctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science at Drexel University. His research is interdisciplinary intersecting security, privacy, and human behavior with two key foci. First, he examines individual security and privacy decisions online under the broad rubric of risk decisions, specifically risk perception and risk compensation. Second, he investigates cybercrime and resulting victimization from the distinct lenses of computer science, economics, criminology, and social psychology. In addition he is also interested in economics of security and privacy, assisted living technologies, eGovernance, and information ethics.