Leslie K. John, a behavioral scientist at Harvard Business School, is specialized in the psychology of privacy decisions.
In this excellent cover story for the Harvard Business Review, she analyzes why people are so bad at making decisions about their private data (“They misunderstand both costs and benefits. Moreover, natural human biases, interfere with their judgment”) and how major platform companies and data aggregators have structured their products and services to exploit those biases – e.g. impatience, the endowment effect, illusion of control, desire of disclosure, false sense of boundaries – often in subtle ways.
John then explores the underlying conundrum – the complexity and opaqueness of the behind-the-scenes “plumbing” of the surveillance economy that make it effectively impossible for consumers to be adequately informed – and ends with some thoughts on regulation:
Regulation is not a panacea for the surveillance economy. It will surely introduce some new issues. There’s also more to gaining consumers’ trust than merely following the law. But if we draw on insights from behavioral science and accept that consumers are imperfect decision makers rather than perfectly rational economic actors, we can design better regulation that will help realize the benefits of data collection while mitigating its pitfalls — for both firms and consumers alike.
The article (available in both print and digital form) is not only very well researched but is also written in a very accessible language. Highly recommended.
The implications of John’s article and the wider topic of tracking are then further explored in four shorter digital-only articles as part of a HBR “Big Idea” series entitled “Tracked”:
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Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]
Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]