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"What Can I Really Do?" : Explaining the Privacy Paradox with Online Apathy


Hargittai, Eszter; Marwick, Alice (2016). "What Can I Really Do?" : Explaining the Privacy Paradox with Online Apathy. International Journal of Communication, 10:3737-3757.

Abstract

Based on focus group interviews, we considered how young adults’ attitudes about privacy can be reconciled with their online behavior. The “privacy paradox” suggests that young people claim to care about privacy while simultaneously providing a great deal of personal information through social media. Our interviews revealed that young adults do understand and care about the potential risks associated with disclosing information online and engage in at least some privacy-protective behaviors on social media. However, they feel that once information is shared, it is ultimately out of their control. They attribute this to the opaque practices of institutions, the technological affordances of social media, and the concept of networked privacy, which acknowledges that individuals exist in social contexts where others can and do violate their privacy.

Abstract

Based on focus group interviews, we considered how young adults’ attitudes about privacy can be reconciled with their online behavior. The “privacy paradox” suggests that young people claim to care about privacy while simultaneously providing a great deal of personal information through social media. Our interviews revealed that young adults do understand and care about the potential risks associated with disclosing information online and engage in at least some privacy-protective behaviors on social media. However, they feel that once information is shared, it is ultimately out of their control. They attribute this to the opaque practices of institutions, the technological affordances of social media, and the concept of networked privacy, which acknowledges that individuals exist in social contexts where others can and do violate their privacy.

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60 citations in Web of Science®
94 citations in Scopus®
17 citations in Microsoft Academic
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Language:English
Date:24 January 2016
Deposited On:20 Feb 2018 13:49
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 01:42
Publisher:University of Southern California
ISSN:1932-8036
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://ijoc.org./index.php/ijoc

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