Privacy sentences to ponder

The increasing difficulty in managing one’s online personal data leads to individuals feeling a loss of control. Additionally, repeated consumer data breaches have given people a sense of futility, ultimately making them weary of having to think about online privacy. This phenomenon is called “privacy fatigue.” Although privacy fatigue is prevalent and has been discussed by scholars, there is little empirical research on the phenomenon. A new study published in the journal Computers and Human Behavior aimed not only to conceptualize privacy fatigue but also to examine its role in online privacy behavior. Based on literature on burnout, we developed measurement items for privacy fatigue, which has two key dimensions —emotional exhaustion and cynicism. Data analyzed from a survey of 324 Internet users showed that privacy fatigue has a stronger impact on privacy behavior than privacy concerns do, although the latter is widely regarded as the dominant factor in explaining online privacy behavior.

Emphasis added by me.  That is by Hanbyl Choi, Jonghwa Park, and Yoonhyuk Jung, via Michelle Dawson.


There's no privacy unfortunately on the internet. I was however impersonated offline in the early 1990s via credit card fraud. It was more damaging, lasting 7 years before I could open another bank account. I thank Bank of America for standing by me all those years, as I suppose they were legally obligated to do. They caught the perp, released him, he was west African, and had everything about me. I even know his face since in Florida they release arrest records to the public.

He also jumped bail and is still out there, and I'm sure I was not the only one he impersonated.

Privacy fatigue makes sense as a phenomenon, the only question is how people respond to it - by total avoiding of certain (but probably not all) services that could potentially compromise their privacy, or by giving in and accepting the inevitable risk without attempting to actively manage privacy settings?

I agree that privacy fatigue make sense. And I am very disappointed that so many down-page simply reject the notion and declare that no one cares.

I would connect it to the concept of "degrees of freedom" from math/science. There are only a certain number of allowed states of privacy, especially in America, especially with our privacy laws. You cannot work backwards in such an environment from an individual's state to an individual's preferences.

So you aren't using Facebook. Big deal. You are still going to sites that have all sorts of pixel programs attached to them, because it's that or not go.

See also the mountains of data that we allow credit rating agencies to collect. It's not about credit rating. What are you going to do, not have a credit card?

Speaking of degrees of freedom, remember that Facebook keeps shadow profiles on everyone who hasn't signed up "yet."

There is no law in America that shadow profiles can't be shared, rented, or sold.

'The increasing difficulty in managing one's online personal data'

Or, in the EU, the decreasing difficulty in managing one's personal data. It is interesting how Facebook is only now starting to offer the sorts for privacy controls for Americans that it has offered to EU users for years. Not that a place like Germany is interested in letting Facebook slide, of course - 'A German court has ruled that Facebook has not done enough to alert people to the pre-ticked privacy settings on its mobile app.

That included an option to share location data when in conversation with another user, and agreement that Google and other search engines could show links to user profiles in search results.

Facebook said it will appeal against the decision.'

Of course Facebook plans to appeal - 'The court also ruled eight clauses in Facebook's terms of service to be invalid, including terms that allow Facebook to transmit data to the US and use personal data for commercial purposes.'

Oddly, not a single word about the American election in such rulings, as German law is applied to a company that routinely violates it.

See the URL above? That is used to pay my OGE bill, but it dose not seem like a pge url, it seems fake to me. Then when Iuse it, it kickcksme over to a private company with the url:

I have to click through the sequence twice to assure myself I was not spoofed. Why does PGE have these foul URLs if they know we suffer privacy fatigue?

If you were using your smart phone (or possibly some other gadget that would not be considered a PC), the P&E was likely delivering the mobile version of index.html.

The # is used here too - note how allows for the hiding of the comment id - which for yours was "blog-comment-159801347" it seems.

Privacy fatigue is a euphemism for too dimwitted to think about it. I've been more charitable, that most users of Facebook (and Google) place a very low value on their personal information; indeed, the point of Facebook is for users to share their personal information with all their "friends", and they boast about how many "friends" they have, the number of friends no doubt a function of how much personal information they are willing to share. Duh. Facebook's boy billionaire knows this, his dorm mom knows this, all of so-called tech knows this. Then along comes Louis Renault, I mean finger-wagging politicians, to declare "I'm shocked, shocked to find that users' personal information is being shared with every two-bit dictator and huckster and their data mining minions".

+1, Facebook is pretty much about publicly sharing info, so this is kind of what you would expect to happen.

+1. I literally cannot understand people who post their private life on the internet, and then complain their privacy is being impaired. It's like a heavy smoker complaining that their cell phone might give them cancer.

Zuckerberg has been quite successful so far at conflating users' ability to manage their own privacy settings (set posts to Public, control what your friends see etc), with discussions of Facebook's business model.

For most users, there *is* no management of the latter, as users have little to no control over it, but it may be possible to make users feel so fatigued by the thought of managing their own privacy settings that they ignore the latter.

Nobody cares. How many people have actually quit Facebook in the past month? One person I know has.

Is it rational to have privacy fatigue? hmmm, lessee...

The government collects and stores every single electronic transaction, query, and communication. Along with all your phone calls and text messages. And your license plate camera locations and face recognition hits. (Whether legal or illegal, they do this, and they lie about it, and we all know they are doing more than they admit). This data is controlled by private contractors in secret facilities with no transparency.

Your ISP knows everything you say, do, and see. The cell phone company collects all your messages and locations. Your car tracks your locations and driving behavior, and can testify against you. As does your phone. And soon your refrigerator too.

Every single entity with an internet presence has built a business model around tracking you. And they often lie about it.

Increasingly, it is clear through "electronic coincidences" that your phone, Aps, email provider, search provider, TV, computer, etc are eavesdropping on you, through your activity and even through your camera and mic - even when turned off or not in direct use - and they are sharing and comparing notes with each other.

The privacy policies and terms of service are a joke, intended to entrap and deceive, and probably ignored without consequence.

The people that are supposed to be good at protecting your data (banks, credit rating agencies) are obviously not very good at it. Hugely massively repeatedly not good at it.

Every single entity along the above chains has demonstrated itself to be serially sociopathic. From cavalier and reckless carelessness, to overt deception and fraud. Again and again and again. And the government has proven itself in on the con, and unwilling and unable to do anything about it.

There is no realistic way to opt out of the above, not without moving to a Buddhist monastery and swearing off money, jobs, travel, and relationships. And you will still be photographed from space.

You can try and be scrupulous and read every policy and control every setting and in the end you will still be unable to keep up, and companies are probably ignoring your settings anyway. And you simply cannot avoid it, everyone is doing it, so no mater what you do some link in the chain will defeat your efforts. You cannot boycott the bad actors because every actor is a bad actor. And besides, the government, and the ISPs, and the hackers can defeat your encryption anyway. It's like the old saying about locking your car: the only person you are keeping out is yourself.

And above all, your social security number is on everything and everywhere, everywhere you've worked, on forms with anyone you've done business with, volunteered with, on checks you use to pay your taxes, and of course in countless database systems that have been sold and stolen and passed around the dark web more often than a drunk girl at a frat party.

Gee, I cannot imagine why people simply surrender themselves to it and hope they luck out and don't get squashed.

You know what's fatiguing? Getting the pop-up on almost every single stinking website telling me that they're using cookies. Thanks for looking out for me European Union.

What they need to add now are notifications that they're using HTML and CSS.

Interesting, as that web site says this - 'By using these filters, you are allowing sites to set cookies by default, without you first being notified, and are agreeing to allow the sites you visit to set cookies.

Only use these filters if you understand the implications of allowing cookies.'

I don't accept cookies really - and if you turn off javascript, you never see those notices in the first place.

Well, using a library, the warning I get is something along the lines of 'action blocked' when loading this web site. Thanks somebody, because the site seems to work just fine from my perspective after blocking that action.

Depends on the browser and settings. There are a variety of pop up ads, embedded java and flash, etc

Some are blocked on policy, some because they are broken

It is a bit more than browser settings - the software is call SiteKiosk. German developed (and fulfilling various German requirements which are considerably stricter than those in the U.S.), here is a description - '
SiteKiosk Windows

Lockdown browser & kiosk software for safeguarding public access Internet-PCs, Displays and Tablets. Protects the browser and operating system against manipulations.'

Before the redesign, the software had no problems - now, MR has actions blocked for security reasons every time a page is called.

aha. I did not realize you were talking about MR specifically

OPM allowed the enormously-sensitive security clearance files for millions of federal employees to get hacked. The only consequence was the symbolic resignation of the befuddled campaign donor who had been placed in charge of the agency. Despite a widespread conclusion in security community that this was an attack by Chinese state actors, the US government did jack sh*t in response. President Obama displayed more outrage over the privacy of his Hollywood donors in the Sony hack. The press stifled the story as quickly as possible. So yes, I have privacy fatigue, because it's been made clear to me that my privacy is just one more political tool, to be deployed or ignored in service of the goals of people other than myself.

I have no idea what privacy settings the study mentioned really addresses, but more and more I'm finding it hard to believe anyone really cares about the privacy of their Facebook information. Compared to all the places my social security number or credit card info is floating around, who really cares if someone finds out I really like tide pods and also have a birthday. Facebook data just isn't that valuable to its users, but the data we really want kept private is all basically out there.

I'd bet I take this too lightly, but I don't put anything on social media I don't want public (or don't care if it is public.) I don't care if some business knows I am shopping for shoes or that my kids played sports.

Do you care that FB has figured out - by analyzing your data, and comparing it to your emails content, search terms used, and shopping habits, and friends names, etc including info that they bought somewhere else - that you are a political so-and-so, likely to voted for for such-and-such, that you probably have genital herpes and a fondness for animated teen porn involving donkeys... and then they use this data to target what news they allow you to see, and they publish this data and put it for sale across the internet?

Would your answer change if the above data was tied to your internet profile, but in fact the herpes thing is because you picked up some meds meant for your roommate, and the porn thing is because your daughter's boyfriend uses your computer when you are at work?

Seems like you are trying to generate a disgust response. But really if you are that concerned by it, just don't use facebook and leave those who is do alone. I suspect the main reason for this is the old false consciousness thing, control the media and you control voting is the belief. Facebook currently is allowing people to access news from alternative sources (some of it false of course) and that is a bad thing as it weakens the media control over the narrative.

This is really a call for decentralized [digital] identities.

Instead of privacy fatigue, I think you are going to see privacy awareness and aggressiveness. The EU is very, very aggressive with the new GDPR regulations, and there will likely be advertisement about rights under GDPR, firms which will offer to assist you in transferring your data to others with greater privacy protection, etc.

Also, look at the EU GDPR regulations impacting the US, as US companies with foreign presence will conform in the EU and will not want to have different systems for different countries.

To support my claim of privacy outrage, you might want to track the number of pending state laws on privacy and data security over time.

State laws and EU GDPR will drive the demand for federal legislation.

"Privacy fatigue is a euphemism for too dimwitted to think about it. " Or perhaps, given a choice between a service that costs nothing (except loss of privacy) and one that costs money, practically everyone chooses "free"?

Assuming "loss of privacy" usually means targeted ads and not fraud, what value do users actually put on privacy?

It is important to be clear about what type of privacy. As others have said above, maybe most people don't really care about targeted ads in popups and FB feeds. I don't. I ignore them.

I do believe though that most people have adopted a resigned and cynical attitude about being powerless and lied to.

They have done the same with being spied on by their own government, propaganda, powerlessness, and fear mongering have made that a non-issue. Patriot Act III? National quarantine and drone citizen domestic pre-judicial assassination policy? Sure, whatevs.

The concerns about online privacy aren't about targeted ads. They are what could come next: star chamber/minority report type preemptive profiling about political activities, health issues, mental heath, relationship health, etc. Not to mention targeted propaganda, which only okay of done by our government and its crony companies.

And the concern about what comes next is deepened by behavior of our data fiduciaries up to the point.

It's no coincidence that Palantir ("Standford Analytica") is at the center of the snooping for government and business. The founder, Peter Thiel, is the Grand Dragon of the Libertarian-Authoritarian Axis.

The only thing that's the problem is how protecting the consumer's identity is so difficult but protecting the identity theft criminal's identity is all but guaranteed.

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