The Effects of Experience with a Technology on Privacy Concerns and Disclosure of Health Information

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Burnham, Kaylee E.
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Although the ubiquity of technology can make many aspects of life more convenient, it may simultaneously raise concerns about the privacy of personal information. While the link between privacy, self-disclosure, and new technology has been suggested, a clear understanding of these variables remains lacking. Explanation for the need for information has been suggested to increase one s comfort level and in turn lead to increased disclosure. The goal of the present study was to assess how experience with a technology affects attitudes toward levels of disclosure of personal information. Older adult (ages 65-74) and younger adult (ages 18-22) participants were exposed to one of two systems, either providing feedback or no feedback relating to the purpose of the question, designed to gather personal health information. Participants provided a rating about how much information they believed they would disclose to the system. Results indicate that younger adults alter their self-disclosure attitudes based on the sensitivity of the question asked, but older adults do not. Neither age group was affected by feedback related to the purpose of the question.
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