Are 21st-century citizens grieving for their loss of privacy?

Gregory J. Bott, Karen Renaud

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Although much research exists that examines cognitive events leading up to information disclosure, such as risk-benefit analysis and state-based and trait-based attributes, minimal research exists that examines user responses after a direct or indirect breach of privacy. The present study examines 1,004 consumer responses to two different high-profile privacy breaches using sentiment analysis. Our findings indicate that individuals who experience an actual or surrogate privacy breach exhibit similar emotional responses, and that the pattern of responses resembles well-known reactions to other losses. Specifically, we present evidence that users contemplating evidence of a privacy invasion experience and communicate very similar responses as individuals who have lost loved ones, gone through a divorce or who face impending death because of a terminal illness. These responses parallel behavior associated with the Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2018 IFIP 8.11/11.13 Dewald Roode Information Security Workshop
EditorsAnthony Vance
PublisherIFIP Working Group 8.11/11.13
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018
Event2018 Dewald Roode Workshop on Information Systems Security Research - University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 14 Jun 201815 Jun 2018
Conference number: 10


Workshop2018 Dewald Roode Workshop on Information Systems Security Research
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • Privacy
  • Grief
  • Privacy concerns
  • Privacy resignation


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