Overall, young consumers are not very concerned about privacy issues. Privacy concerns do seem to increase with age and time. Below, we list who cares about privacy issues and who doesn’t (and when they care even less).
Who doesn’t care -- and when do they care even less?
- Children who primarily use the internet for social networking share more personal information.
- Young teens who are confident about their internet skills more often reveal personal information online.
- Teens with large online social networks including many unfamiliar friends disclose more personal information (photos, comments, etc.), but they also show more regret after posting such information.
- Popular teens are more likely to maintain public Facebook profiles
- Privacy concerns do not play a role in how teens respond to personalized ads on social media. The more personalized the ad (for example, based on status updates), the more teens like the ad and brand, and the more likely they are to forward the ads to their friends
- When promised a reward or small incentive, young consumers are more willing to disclose personal information and accept privacy risks. This “privacy calculus” also occurs among adults.
Parents are less important than they think (and probably hope)
- Young teens are indifferent to their parents’ internet regulations. Parental regulations does not affect their willingness to reveal personal information online.
- Teens and young adults are not very concerned about their parents invading their privacy on social media. For some teens, the less comfortable they are with the idea that their parents can see their profile, the less likely they are to accept their parents’ friend request
Who cares about privacy -- and when do they care more?
- Older teens and young adults are generally more concerned about privacy issues than younger children.
- Peers play an important role in teens’ privacy settings on Facebook. In connected peer groups, teens are even more likely to imitate each other’s privacy settings.
- Girls are more likely than boys to be judged for having an open profile, too many friends, provocative photos, and too much posted information.
- Remarkably, young adults seem to be relatively concerned about privacy when it comes to sharing physical exercise activities. They are also concerned about the privacy and security of health apps, fearing that (disappointing) health app results will be shared automatically.
- When young consumers leave Facebook, privacy concerns are the main reason. Almost half of Facebook quitters indicate privacy to be the reason to leave. They also tend to be more conscientious (e.g., precise, organized), and more concerned about their privacy in daily life.
- The literature cannot give clear-cut insights about actual privacy behaviors:
Characteristics of young consumers who more often have private Facebook profiles:
- younger teens
- members of ethnic minority groups
- lower educated teens
Characteristics of young consumers who untag photos more often:
- older teens
- being extrovert
- perceiving online information as public
- actively taking and sharing photos
- being keener to protect own image online
Of the 15 articles Bitescience collected (see below), the great majority took place in Europe and the United States. The studies concerned mostly social media and online marketing practices.