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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Sharing Data for Social Good: From Uninformed Consent to Misinformed Dissent

Published: May 25, 2021


Claudia Wenzel, University of Zurich; Anne Scherer, University of Zurich


When making the decision to use a service for personal benefits, consumers are fast to underestimate privacy-related costs and hence, freely share their personal data (uninformed consent). This cost-benefit analysis shifts, when focusing on data sharing for a social good. We show that asking people to use a service that serves a social good (containing the spread of the coronavirus), they overestimate the costs and rather not use the service due to privacy concerns (misinformed dissent). To increase data sharing for a societal cause, we test two interventions on how privacy-related information should be communicated. Our results indicate that providing additional information on a service (1) is not processed thoroughly when consumers already have a strong prior conviction about using the service; (2) increases knowledge and positive attitude only if the information is processed thoroughly; or (3) information is presented in a comparative manner compared to single information.