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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Interdependent privacy (IDP) violations occur when users share personal information about others without permission, resulting in potential embarrassment, reputation loss, or harassment. There are several strategies that can be applied to protect IDP, but little is known regarding how social media users perceive IDP threats or how they prefer to respond to them. We utilized a mixed-method approach with a replication study to examine user beliefs about various government-, platform-, and user-level strategies for managing IDP violations. Participants reported that IDP represented a 'serious' online threat, and identified themselves as primarily responsible for responding to violations. IDP strategies that felt more familiar and provided greater perceived control over violations (e.g., flagging, blocking, unfriending) were rated as more effective than platform or government driven interventions. Furthermore, we found users were more willing to share on social media if they perceived their interactions as protected. Findings are discussed in relation to control paradox theory.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 28, 2024
  3. Despite encryption, the packet size is still visible, enabling observers to infer private information in the Internet of Things (IoT) environment (e.g., IoT device identification). Packet padding obfuscates packet-length characteristics with a high data overhead because it relies on adding noise to the data. This paper proposes a more data-efficient approach that randomizes packet sizes without adding noise. We achieve this by splitting large TCP segments into random-sized chunks; hence, the packet length distribution is obfuscated without adding noise data. Our client–server implementation using TCP sockets demonstrates the feasibility of our approach at the application level. We realize our packet size control by adjusting two local socket-programming parameters. First, we enable the TCP_NODELAY option to send out each packet with our specified length. Second, we downsize the sending buffer to prevent the sender from pushing out more data than can be received, which could disable our control of the packet sizes. We simulate our defense on a network trace of four IoT devices and show a reduction in device classification accuracy from 98% to 63%, close to random guessing. Meanwhile, the real-world data transmission experiments show that the added latency is reasonable, less than 21%, while the added packet header overhead is only about 5%.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  4. Although a great deal of research has examined interventions to help users protect their own information online, less work has examined methods for reducing interdependent privacy (IDP) violations on social media (i.e., sharing of other people's information). This study tested the effectiveness of concept-based (i.e., general information), fact-based (i.e., statistics), and narrative-based (i.e., stories) educational videos in altering IDP-relevant attitudes and multimedia sharing behaviors. Our study revealed concept and fact videos reduced sharing of social media content that portrayed people negatively. The narrative intervention backfired and increased sharing among participants who did not believe IDP violations to be especially serious; however, the narrative intervention decreased sharing for participants who rated IDP violations as more serious. Notably, our study found participants preferred narrative-based interventions with real world examples, despite other strategies more effectively reducing sharing. Implications for narrative transportation theory and advancing bottom-up (i.e., user-centered) psychosocial interventions are discussed. 
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  5. ‘Interdependent’ privacy violations occur when users share private photos and information about other people in social media without permission. This research investigated user characteristics associated with interdependent privacy perceptions, by asking social media users to rate photo-based memes depicting strangers on the degree to which they were too private to share. Users also completed questionnaires measuring social media usage and personality. Separate groups rated the memes on shareability, valence, and entertainment value. Users were less likely to share memes that were rated as private, except when the meme was entertaining or when users exhibited dark triad characteristics. Users with dark triad characteristics demonstrated a heightened awareness of interdependent privacy and increased sharing of others’ photos. A model is introduced that highlights user types and characteristics that correspond to different privacy preferences: privacy preservers, ignorers, and violators. We discuss how interventions to support interdependent privacy must effectively influence diverse users. 
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