Privacy, trust, and self-disclosure online

Adam N Joinson, Ulf-Dietrich Reips, Tom Buchanan, Carina B Paine Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

334 Citations (SciVal)


Despite increased concern about the privacy threat posed by new technology and the Internet, there is relatively little evidence that people's privacy concerns translate to privacy-enhancing behaviors while online. In Study 1, measures of privacy concern are collected, followed 6 weeks later by a request for intrusive personal information alongside measures of trust in the requestor and perceived privacy related to the specific request (n = 759). Participants' dispositional privacy concerns, as well as their level of trust in the requestor and perceived privacy during the interaction, predicted whether they acceded to the request for personal information, although the impact of perceived privacy was mediated by trust. In Study 2, privacy and trust were experimentally manipulated and disclosure measured (n = 180). The results indicated that privacy and trust at a situational level interact such that high trust compensates for low privacy, and vice versa. Implications for understanding the links between privacy attitudes, trust, design, and actual behavior are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalHuman-Computer Interaction
Issue number1
Early online date29 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • new technologies
  • self-disclosure
  • personal information
  • privacy concerns


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