1. bookVolume 2022 (2022): Issue 1 (January 2022)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Effectiveness of Adaptation Methods in Improving User Engagement and Privacy Protection on Social Network Sites

Published Online: 20 Nov 2021
Page range: 629 - 648
Received: 31 May 2021
Accepted: 16 Sep 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Research finds that the users of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) often fail to comprehensively engage with the plethora of available privacy features— arguably due to their sheer number and the fact that they are often hidden from sight. As different users are likely interested in engaging with different subsets of privacy features, an SNS could improve privacy management practices by adapting its interface in a way that proactively assists, guides, or prompts users to engage with the subset of privacy features they are most likely to benefit from. Whereas recent work presents algorithmic implementations of such privacy adaptation methods, this study investigates the optimal user interface mechanism to present such adaptations. In particular, we tested three proposed “adaptation methods” (automation, suggestions, highlights) in an online between-subjects user experiment in which 406 participants used a carefully controlled SNS prototype. We systematically evaluate the effect of these adaptation methods on participants’ engagement with the privacy features, their tendency to set stricter settings (protection), and their subjective evaluation of the assigned adaptation method. We find that the automation of privacy features afforded users the most privacy protection, while giving privacy suggestions caused the highest level of engagement with the features and the highest subjective ratings (as long as awkward suggestions are avoided). We discuss the practical implications of these findings in the effectiveness of adaptations improving user awareness of, and engagement with, privacy features on social media.

Keywords

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