07 September 2010

Trust in web sites

Technology Review summarises some research looking at factors that encourage people to divulge personal information on web sites. It's a mixed picture, with research by Alessandro Acquisti at CMU suggesting that the more formal a web site appears, the less likely people are to give personal information. Joseph Bonneau at Cambridge has found that sites that bury privacy settings (i.e. keeping it off users' minds) are likely to get more information from their users (coincidentally, this research was published just as Facebook increased the complexity of its security settings). Tangentially, Soren Preibusch, also at Cambridge, has found that sites which appear to give a high level of privacy can sell products at a higher price than those that don't.

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