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Privacy statements in fitness apps – the most boring research topic of digitalization?

Every app collects data about its users. Privacy statements indicate whether personal data is passed on to third parties and how long and where it is stored. But does anyone really read that? DIZH Fellow Nico Ebert knows how to get people to read through the boring privacy statements after all.

“We don’t care about your privacy at all” could be written in a privacy statement online and many people would still click “Accept”. Terms and conditions, imprints and privacy statements are important legal components of websites and apps. They inform users about the terms of use, which company or person is responsible, and which of the user data is used for which purposes. You can read all of this – but does anyone ever do that?

“Privacy statements are probably the most boring research topic in the world,” says Dr. Nico Ebert of the ZHAW School of Management and Law. “But I want to show that it’s not as boring as it looks.”

In his DIZH Fellowship, he addresses the question whether it is possible to raise awareness of privacy online through short, contextual privacy statements. Are users more willing to read a few sentences rather than a long privacy statement? Or do they just ignore them?

The results can be found on the ZHAW blog Digital Futures Lab.