An honest man has nothing to fear: user perceptions on web-based information disclosure
In today's era of the global ubiquitous use of free online tools and business models that depend on data retention and customized advertising, we face a growing tension between the privacy concerns of individuals and the financial motivations of organizations. As a critical foundation step to address this problem, we must first understand the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and expectations of web users in order to create an environment where user privacy needs are met while still allowing online companies to innovate and provide functionality that users desire. As security and usability professionals we must identify areas where misperceptions exist and seek solutions, either by raising awareness, changing policy, or through technical means. In this paper, we explore these issues and report the results from a survey of 352 college undergraduates and a comparison group of 25 middle aged adults The results were at times surprising and even contradictory to the views held by security professionals. To summarize our findings, the students we surveyed believe that "an honest man has nothing to fear."