The Evolution of Internet Users’ Privacy Concerns

The Privacy Place is proud to announce the release of a new technical report by Dr. Annie I. Antón, Dr. Julia B. Earp, and Jessica D. Young detailing the evolution of Internet users’ privacy concerns since 2002. This research has been submitted to IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine, but you can read the detailed technical report on this research today by downloading the full paper here: How Internet Users’ Privacy Concerns Have Evolved Since 2002


In 2002, we established a baseline for Internet users’ online privacy values. Through a survey we found that information transfer, notice/awareness, and information storage were the top online privacy concerns of Internet users. Since this survey there have been many privacy-related events, including changes in online trends and the creation of laws, prompting us to rerun the survey in 2008 to examine how these events may have affected Internet users’ online privacy concerns. In this paper, we discuss the 2008 survey, which revealed that U.S. Internet users top three privacy concerns have not changed since 2002; however, their level of concern within these categories may have been influenced by these privacy-related events. In addition, we examine differences in privacy concerns between U.S. and international respondents.

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