Enhancing Privacy through the Visual Design of Privacy Notices: Exploring the Interplay of Curiosity, Control and Affect

Agnieszka Kitkowska, Mark Warner, Yefim Shulman, Erik Wästlund, Leonardo Martucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Privacy policies are the initial communicators of the services' data handling practices. Yet, their design seldom ensures users' privacy comprehension or provides people with choices around their information management, resulting in negative feelings associated with the sign-up process. In this paper, we investigate how to improve these conditions to enhance privacy comprehension and management, while inducing more positive feelings towards privacy notices. In an online experiment (N=620), we examine factors active during privacy interactions: curiosity, privacy concerns, trust, and time. We study how, together with framing and control incorporated in visual designs of notices, these factors influence privacy comprehension, intention to disclose, and affect (negative-positive valence). Our results show that, depending on an individual's level of curiosity, control can influence privacy comprehension, disclosure, and valence. We demonstrate the moderating ability of valence on privacy concerns, indirectly affecting disclosures. We elaborate on the results, highlighting how privacy notices designed to activate curiosity and provide control, could enhance usability and strengthen privacy-conscious behaviors. We argue that future work should study affect to further the knowledge of its role in cognitive processing resulting from privacy interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Sixteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2020)
Place of PublicationDover, DE
PublisherUSENIX Association
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781939133168
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2020
EventSixteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020


ConferenceSixteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
Abbreviated titleSOUPS
Internet address


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