Date of Award
Master of Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Online privacy is an idea that is difficult to quantify, and simply asking people how they feel about their privacy often yields answers that are vague at best and do not give an overall look into how people view their own privacy or security online, much less a way to quantify it. The purpose of this study was to find a way to quantify how different societal factors may have an effect on computer and internet privacy. Five social factors were compared against seven privacy factors in order to determine if there was any correlation between them.
To meet this requirement, a survey was created and sent out to individuals who were also asked to share the survey. The survey stayed open for approximately six months before it was closed and the results were aggregated, and then graphs were created in order to examine the results of the survey.
There were a total of 464 active participants, and their responses were aggregated into graphs. After examination of the graphs, it would appear that while there is not a correlation between every social factor and privacy aspect, there are some aspects that have a definite correlation. In addition, there were some social factors that had larger tendencies to produce strong correlations than others. Likewise, there were some privacy factors that tended to produce stronger correlations than others.
Overall, future research considerations could include finding the mean and median of how people view privacy, looking into specific social media items, and finally, determining whether any of the correlations that were found have causations behind them.
Arielle Elyse Czalbowski
Czalbowski, Arielle Elyse, "A cruel angel's thesis: a quantitative study of online privacy values dependent on social factors" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14758.