Internet users tend to lack awareness when it comes to the amount of personal data they regularly disclose online. This causes discrepancies between their reported privacy attitudes and their actual privacy behavior, a phenomenon which has been labeled “privacy paradox”. They also calculate the subjective benefits and risks of disclosing personal data. In this context, blockchain technology acts as a double-edged sword when it comes to ensuring privacy. On the one hand, it allows storing data in an immutable way and creating systems which evoke Orwellian visions of intrusive governments overseeing and monitoring their most private decisions. On the other hand, blockchain technology holds the potential of giving privacy back into the hands of users. It allows them to determine which personal information they want to share and offers encryption technology to conceal the origin of data. The complexity of blockchain technology and its implications on privacy are hard to grasp for the average user. In the proposed research project, we therefore investigate how internet users, more specifically consumers, perceive the privacy impact of blockchain technology and how their attitudes and behaviors are shaped by the technology’s objective features as well as their subjective perceptions. We also scrutinize the role of media and peers in shaping disclosure attitude and behavior.
Treiblmaier, Horst, "Privacy Revisited: The Impact of Blockchain Technology on the Disclosure of Personal Data" (2019). DIGIT 2019 Proceedings. 4.