From ACM TechNews:
Increasing Control Over Release of Information Leads People to Divulge More Online, Carnegie Mellon Researchers Find
Carnegie Mellon News (PA)
(11/28/12) Ken Walters
When users think they have more control over their personal information, they tend to increase their willingness to disclose sensitive information that allows them to be personally identified, according to a Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) study. The study examined how users respond when given control over their personal information, enabling them to choose how much they reveal about themselves. The researchers found that users given more privacy controls share more sensitive information with larger and riskier audiences. "People who felt more in control of their information took more privacy risks more often," says CMU professor Alessandro Acquisti. The researchers say the finding has important public policy implications. "Our research shows that such self-regulation may still leave users vulnerable to privacy risks," says CMU researcher Laura Brandimarte. The research included three studies with a total of 600 participants across several populations. All three studies found that increasing perceived control over the release or access of personal information can cause people to experience an illusory sense of security.