The Desire for Privacy: Insights into the Views and Nature of the Early Adopters of Privacy Services

The Desire for Privacy: Insights into the Views and Nature of the Early Adopters of Privacy Services

Sarah Spiekermann (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2005010104
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Abstract

Using privacy and security technology becomes increasingly important in many application areas for companies as well as for consumers. However, the market for privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) is still small, especially in the private consumer segment. Due to the nature of the technology per se, little is known and can be learned about the views and motivation of those who carefully protect their transactions on the Net. Are they a niche group in the long run? Or do they hold views and have traits that promise a wider-spread adoption of PETs? This paper gives an insight into the traits and views of 5,037 customers of an anonymity service. Due to high service reputation and unchanged questions posted over 2½ years on the service’s Web site, insights could be gained on PET users’ demographic and psychographic traits. Moreover, 482 free-text comments provide a unique insight into the thoughts, feelings, and motivation for service usage.

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