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Nudges to Privacy Behaviour: Exploring an Alternative Approach to Privacy Notices

December 06, 2016 by Shara Monteleone, Rene Van Bavel, Nuria Priego Rodriguez, Gabriele Esposito

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The report seeks to bring behavioural research methods for privacy to the attention of EU policy-makers. It argues that changes in web interface design can be a useful policy alternative to the traditional 'privacy notice' approach. Specifically, it examines whether web interface design has effect on people's online privacy behaviour through an online experiment (n=3200) in four European countries. Results show that the presence of an anthropomorphic character leads to greater disclosure of personal information, both directly and passively; the presence of a privacy notice leads to greater direct information disclosure. Additional psychological constructs (such as subjects' awareness that they were revealing personal information) were also recorded, and a demographic analysis according to gender, age, education and country of residence carried out.