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

Gregory J. Bott, Karen Renaud, Anthony Vance (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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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
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018
Event2018 IFIP 8.11/11.13 Dewald Roode Information Security Workshop - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 14 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


Workshop2018 IFIP 8.11/11.13 Dewald Roode Information Security Workshop
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • information disclosure
  • privacy
  • privacy invasion experience


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