Blog

MAY 25TH, 2016
New publication: Research Report on a Multicultural Survey Study
We recently published a research report on a multicultural survey study on privacy and self-disclosure. We present comparative results from five nations (United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and China) with regard to social media use, self-disclosure, privacy perceptions and attitudes, and privacy behavior in online environments. The findings suggest that a broad differentiation between Western and Eastern cultures only partly account for differences in social media use and privacy behavior. Rather, the results suggest that European countries (United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands) share similar privacy perceptions and evaluations and engage in similar privacy behavior. The research report can be downloaded here.

APRIL 17TH, 2016
Understanding the Replication Crisis
Over the last years, there have been many efforts to shed light on what has been termed the replication crisis of psychological science. Although this title suggests that this discussion is primarily about the reproducibility of psychological studies, it touches many more aspects. In this discussion, many important questions are being asked: How reliable is (psychological) science in general? What factors influence the quality of science? What can we do to improve the quality of science? It further touches the question of publication bias, questionable research practices, open science, and more generally the credibility of science itself. If one dives into the many discussions and comments on this topic, one can easily loose orientation. I have tried to summarize the main points of the discussion in the following post. The post further includes links to the key publications. In summary, this article should help to understand the replication crisis and provide a reading list for those who want to learn about the overal crisis in more depth... read more.

MARCH 5TH, 2016
New publication: Disclosure Management on Social Network Sites
M paper about individual privacy perceptions and user-directed privacy strategies has been published in the journal Social Media + Society. In this paper, Michael Scharkow and I have analyzed in how far users imply different disclosure management strategies in status updates and chat conversations depending on the level of privacy they ascribe to different types of information. We asssumed that users perceive specific information as differently private depending on their personal privacy preferences, but generally show the same disclosure management pattern: the higher the perceived privacy level of an information, the less frequently it will be shared. We tested the hypothesis using an online survey with 316 German SNS users. You can hence access the article for free here. Furthermore, with this article, we wanted to contribute to the idea of open science and also published the data and analyses in an online repository of the open science framework. If you are interested these materials, you can find them here.

JANUARY 20TH, 2016
New publication: Do-it-yourself Data Protection - Empowerment or Burden?
In this chapter, we look at data protection by individual citizens. The so called do-it-yourself (DIY) data protection is often considered as an important part of comprehensive data protection. Particularly in the wake of diagnosing the "privacy paradox", fostering DIY privacy protection and providing the respective tools is seen both as important policy aim and as a developing market. Individuals are meant to be empowered in a world where an increasing amount of actors is interested in their data. We analyze the preconditions of this view empirically and normatively: Thus, we ask (1) Can individuals protect data efficiently; and (2) Should individuals be responsible for data protection. We argue that both for pragmatic and normative reasons, a wider social perspective on data protection is required. The paper is concluded by providing a short outlook how these results could be taken up in data protection practices.You can find the chapter here.

JUNE 17TH, 2015
New publication: Privacy needs of different communication types
In this study, we used a cluster analysis to identify different communication patterns among German users of social media. We then analyzed in how far these different communication types differ with regard to perceptions, evaluations, attitudes on privacy and privacy protection strategies. Based on a representative sample of the German population with N = 3278 participants, we found that there a four different communication types: (1) older people who prefer to communicate face-to-face, (2) younger people who communicate mostly with their friends via social network sites and instant-messengerapps, (3) people who communicate via all available channels and (4) people who refuse to use social network sites and instead communicate via instant-messenger (cf. figure on the right).
The study was published in the current issue (5/2015) of the journal Media Perspektiven. You can access and download the full text here.

JANUARY 6TH, 2015
New publication: Book chapter on online privacy literacy pulished
We recently contributed a chapter to the book "Reforming European Data Protection Law". The compilation of articels offers readers conceptual analyses as well as thoughtful discussions of issues, practices, and solutions with regard to privacy and data protection. It features results of the seventh annual international Conference on Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection (CPDP), held in Brussels in january 2014. Our chapter discusses the role of online privacy literacy and how it might explain the often observed gap between privacy concerns and behaviors. You can find the chapter here.

AUGUST 15TH, 2014
New publication: Can Facebook use become addictive?
Together with my co-authors Leonard Reinecke, Marc Ziegele and Oliver Quiring (all University of Mainz), I conducted a study on social network site addiction which was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. The study aims at exploring the relatively new phenomenon of social network site addiction and at identifying predictors of problematic SNS use. For this purpose, a scale measuring addictive behavior specifically with regard to SNS use was developed and the effects of intrinsic need satisfaction in the offline context and of SNS-specific motives on SNS addiction were tested in an online-survey among 581 SNS users in Germany. You can get the article here.

AUGUST 6TH, 2014
New publication: Whitepaper on self data protection
Our department is part of a forum on privacy (dt. Forum Privatheit), a consortium of different researchers from various disciplines who conduct studies in the context of online privacy and data protection. From time to time, the forum publishes white papers focussing on specific aspects of privacy and data protection in the internet. I contributed to the latest white paper on "self data protection". You can download the paper here.