Privacy perceptions and norms in youth and adults.

Objective: This exploratory study examines privacy perceptions and preferences among adolescent and young adult (AYA) and adult individuals with an emphasis on health-related information. Method: Participants (N = 112) completed surveys including measures of privacy concern, consumer control of information, online privacy concern and behavior, and sensitivity of personal information. Results: AYAs (n = 36) and adults (n = 76) showed similar levels of general privacy concern; specifically, their ratings of the sensitivity of non-health-related personal data did not differ. AYAs’ ratings of various health information sensitivities were lower than adults’ ratings, and AYAs reported less concern on subscales addressing online and consumer data collection. Conclusion: Discrepancies between AYA and adult responses to different privacy scales suggest contextual integrity at work. That is, AYAs’ and adults’ privacy perceptions differ based on the type of information being shared, and they draw on different norms to govern information flow. AYAs are more likely to feel they have control over their personal information and feel comfortable employing privacy protecting strategies. AYAs are less likely to see online information collection as a violation of an implied social contract. This study highlights differences in AYA and adult attitudes toward privacy and suggests that AYAs care about privacy but perceive certain types of information collection as less threatening than adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)