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On the Difficulties of Incentivizing Online Privacy through Transparency: A Qualitative Survey of the German Health Insurance Market

Maass, Max and Walter, Nicolas and Herrmann, Dominik and Hollick, Matthias (2019):
On the Difficulties of Incentivizing Online Privacy through Transparency: A Qualitative Survey of the German Health Insurance Market.
In: Wirtschaftsinformatik 2019, Siegen, Germany, 25-27.2.2019, [Online-Edition: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/8515],
[Conference or Workshop Item]

Abstract

Today, online privacy is the domain of regulatory measures and privacy-enhancing technologies. Transparency in the form of external and public assessments has been proposed for improving privacy and security because it exposes otherwise hidden deficiencies. Previous work has studied privacy attitudes and behavior of consumers. However, little is known on how organizations react to measures that employ public "naming and shaming" as an incentive for improvement. We performed the first study on this aspect by conducting a qualitative survey with 152 German health insurers. We scanned their websites with PrivacyScore.org to generate a public ranking and confronted the insurers with the results. We obtained a response rate of 27%. Responses ranged from positive feedback to legal threats. Only 12% of the sites - mostly non-responders - improved during our study. Our results show that insurers struggle due to unawareness, reluctance, and incapability, and demonstrate the general difficulties of transparency-based approaches.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2019
Creators: Maass, Max and Walter, Nicolas and Herrmann, Dominik and Hollick, Matthias
Title: On the Difficulties of Incentivizing Online Privacy through Transparency: A Qualitative Survey of the German Health Insurance Market
Language: English
Abstract:

Today, online privacy is the domain of regulatory measures and privacy-enhancing technologies. Transparency in the form of external and public assessments has been proposed for improving privacy and security because it exposes otherwise hidden deficiencies. Previous work has studied privacy attitudes and behavior of consumers. However, little is known on how organizations react to measures that employ public "naming and shaming" as an incentive for improvement. We performed the first study on this aspect by conducting a qualitative survey with 152 German health insurers. We scanned their websites with PrivacyScore.org to generate a public ranking and confronted the insurers with the results. We obtained a response rate of 27%. Responses ranged from positive feedback to legal threats. Only 12% of the sites - mostly non-responders - improved during our study. Our results show that insurers struggle due to unawareness, reluctance, and incapability, and demonstrate the general difficulties of transparency-based approaches.

Journal or Publication Title: Wirtschaftsinformatik 2019
Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Sichere Mobile Netze
DFG-Graduiertenkollegs
DFG-Graduiertenkollegs > Research Training Group 2050 Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users
Event Title: Wirtschaftsinformatik 2019
Event Location: Siegen, Germany
Event Dates: 25-27.2.2019
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2019 20:55
Official URL: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/8515
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-85151
Additional Information:

2nd, updated version, fixing a typo in Table 1

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