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Document Type

Essay

Abstract

This Essay takes a further step in a developing research agenda on the design of privacy policies. As described in more detail in Part II, I created an online survey in which respondents were asked to choose one of two websites that would better protect their privacy given images of segments of their privacy policies. Some of the questions paired notices with, on the one hand, privacy protective practices displayed in difficult-to-read designs, and, on the other hand, invasive data use practices displayed in graphical, aesthetically pleasing ways. Many survey respondents seemed to make their privacy decisions based on design rather than substance. Furthermore, using statistical modeling, this Essay shows that increased knowledge about the legal implications of privacy policies is associated with lower odds of being confused by aesthetically pleasing designs. Although this study is subject to certain limitations, all of which are discussed at the end of Part II, it suggests several avenues for future research and several ways policymakers can improve the efficacy of notice-and-choice.

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