A new study reveals consumers are willing to pay more per item online to protect their private information:
The Carnegie Mellon Usable Privacy and Security Lab (CUPS) monitored the habits of people ranging in age from 18 to 71 who were given money and instructed to buy certain items online while using the search engine PrivacyFinder.org.
PrivacyFinder.org, a search engine developed by CUPS, evaluates a Web site's privacy policies according to the Platform for Privacy Preferences developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. It displays a site's rank alongside search results.
The researchers found that people were willing to pay about 60 cents more for each $15 item purchased to protect their privacy. One of the items participants were instructed to buy was a sex toy, something they might be inclined to keep private. And subjects were also allowed to keep any money they saved.
"There have been so many other studies saying that people do not care about privacy," said CUPS director Lorrie Cranor. They've said that people are willing to give up privacy for lower prices, she added.