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How Website Owners Face Privacy Issues: Thematic Analysis of Responses from a Covert Notification Study Reveals Diverse Circumstances and Challenges

Stöver, Alina ; Gerber, Nina ; Pridöhl, Henning ; Maass, Max ; Bretthauer, Sebastian ; Spiecker gen. Döhmann, Indra ; Hollick, Matthias ; Herrmann, Dominik (2023)
How Website Owners Face Privacy Issues: Thematic Analysis of Responses from a Covert Notification Study Reveals Diverse Circumstances and Challenges.
In: Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PoPETs), 2023 (2)
doi: 10.56553/popets-2023-0051
Article, Bibliographie

Abstract

Many websites contain services from third parties. Misconfigurations of these services can lead to missing compliance with legal obligations and privacy risks for website users. Previous research indicates that one cause for such privacy issues is missing awareness. However, reasons for the missing awareness and other reasons for the prevalence of privacy issues are not widely researched; that includes website owners’ dealing with those issues. To shed light on the issue, we analyze 1043 responses from website owners to a notification about a privacy issue on their website using thematic analysis, following an exploratory and qualitative approach. Our analysis shows that, next to unawareness of the issue, incorrect technical implementation and ambiguous responsibilities are among the reasons for privacy issues. Also, website owners face different challenges, such as a lack of knowledge or slow organizational coordination and processes. In addition, our results show that the circumstances in which they operate their website influences how they act and what challenges they face. To illustrate these differences in website owners, we derive three personas from our thematic analysis: (1) the Ignorant Hobbyist, (2) the Busy Self-Employed, and (3) the Informed Multi-Stakeholder. These personas cover the majority of the aspects of the analyzed responses and represent the diversity of website owners and their backgrounds. Given the challenges and backgrounds of website owners, we discuss which prerequisites must be fulfilled to remediate privacy issues on websites. Finally, we present measures that support website owners in remediating privacy issues and show how to adapt these measures to the needs of different website owners. We hope that better support for website owners will also lead to better privacy for website visitors.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2023
Creators: Stöver, Alina ; Gerber, Nina ; Pridöhl, Henning ; Maass, Max ; Bretthauer, Sebastian ; Spiecker gen. Döhmann, Indra ; Hollick, Matthias ; Herrmann, Dominik
Type of entry: Bibliographie
Title: How Website Owners Face Privacy Issues: Thematic Analysis of Responses from a Covert Notification Study Reveals Diverse Circumstances and Challenges
Language: English
Date: 2023
Publisher: De Gruyter Open
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PoPETs)
Volume of the journal: 2023
Issue Number: 2
DOI: 10.56553/popets-2023-0051
Abstract:

Many websites contain services from third parties. Misconfigurations of these services can lead to missing compliance with legal obligations and privacy risks for website users. Previous research indicates that one cause for such privacy issues is missing awareness. However, reasons for the missing awareness and other reasons for the prevalence of privacy issues are not widely researched; that includes website owners’ dealing with those issues. To shed light on the issue, we analyze 1043 responses from website owners to a notification about a privacy issue on their website using thematic analysis, following an exploratory and qualitative approach. Our analysis shows that, next to unawareness of the issue, incorrect technical implementation and ambiguous responsibilities are among the reasons for privacy issues. Also, website owners face different challenges, such as a lack of knowledge or slow organizational coordination and processes. In addition, our results show that the circumstances in which they operate their website influences how they act and what challenges they face. To illustrate these differences in website owners, we derive three personas from our thematic analysis: (1) the Ignorant Hobbyist, (2) the Busy Self-Employed, and (3) the Informed Multi-Stakeholder. These personas cover the majority of the aspects of the analyzed responses and represent the diversity of website owners and their backgrounds. Given the challenges and backgrounds of website owners, we discuss which prerequisites must be fulfilled to remediate privacy issues on websites. Finally, we present measures that support website owners in remediating privacy issues and show how to adapt these measures to the needs of different website owners. We hope that better support for website owners will also lead to better privacy for website visitors.

Divisions: DFG-Graduiertenkollegs
DFG-Graduiertenkollegs > Research Training Group 2050 Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users
Profile Areas
Profile Areas > Cybersecurity (CYSEC)
03 Department of Human Sciences
Forschungsfelder
Forschungsfelder > Information and Intelligence
Forschungsfelder > Information and Intelligence > Cybersecurity & Privacy
03 Department of Human Sciences > Institute for Psychology
03 Department of Human Sciences > Institute for Psychology > Engineering psychology research group!
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2023 08:19
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2023 07:21
PPN: 509777961
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