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Investigating the Interplay Between Searchers' Privacy Concerns and Their Search Behavior

Zimmerman, Steven and Thorpe, Alistair and Fox, Chris and Kruschwitz, Udo (2019) Investigating the Interplay Between Searchers' Privacy Concerns and Their Search Behavior. In: SIGIR '19: The 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, ? - ?, Paris.

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Abstract

Privacy concerns are becoming a dominant focus in search applications, thus there is a growing need to understand implications of efforts to address these concerns. Our research investigates a search system with privacy warning labels, an approach inspired by decision making research on food nutrition labels. This approach is designed to alert users to potential privacy threats in their search for information as one possible avenue to address privacy concerns. Our primary goal is to understand the extent to which attitudes towards privacy are linked to behaviors that protect privacy. In the present study, participants were given a set of fact-based decision tasks from the domain of health search. Participants were rotated through variations of search engine results pages (SERPs) including a SERP with a privacy warning light system. Lastly, participants completed a survey to capture attitudes towards privacy, behaviors to protect privacy, and other demographic information. In addition to the comparison of interactive search behaviors of a privacy warning SERP with a control SERP, we compared self-report privacy measures with interactive search behaviors. Participants reported strong concerns around privacy of health information while simultaneously placing high importance on the correctness of this information. Analysis of our interactive experiment and self-report privacy measures indicate that 1) choice of privacy-protective browsers has a significant link to privacy attitudes and privacy-protective behaviors in a SERP and 2) there are no significant links between reported concerns towards privacy and recorded behavior in an information retrieval system with warnings that enable users to protect their privacy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Privacy; Information Retrieval; Interactive Studies
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 11:56
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 19:34
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/33006

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