Digital natives aren’t concerned much about privacy, or are they?
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1
Voice assistants have become embedded in people’s private spaces and domestic lives where they gather enormous amounts of personal information which is why they evoke serious privacy concerns. The paper reports the findings from a mixed-method study with 65 digital natives, their attitudes to privacy and actual and intended behaviour in privacy-sensitive situations and contexts. It also presents their recommendations to governments or organisations with regard to protecting their data. The results show that the majority are concerned about privacy but are willing to disclose personal data if the benefits outweigh the risks. The prevailing attitude is one characterised by uncertainty about what happens with their data, powerlessness about controlling their use, mistrust in big tech companies and uneasiness about the lack of transparency. Few take steps to self-manage their privacy, but rely on the government to take measures at the political and regulatory level. The respondents, however, show scant awareness of existing or planned legislation such as the GDPR and the Digital Services Act, respectively. A few participants are anxious to defend the analogue world and limit digitalization in general which in their opinion only opens the gate to surveillance and misuse.