Aleecia M. McDonald

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This paper presents empirical data on American Internet users' knowledge about and perceptions of Internet advertising techniques. We present the results of in-depth interviews and an online survey focusing on participants' views of online advertising and their ability to make decisions about privacy tradeoffs. We find users hold misconceptions about the(More)
We studied the deployment of computer-readable privacy policies encoded using the standard W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) format to inform questions about P3P’s usefulness to end users and researchers. We found that P3P adoption is increasing overall and that P3P adoption rates greatly vary across industries. We found that P3P had been deployed(More)
Website developers can use Adobe’s Flash Player product to store information locally on users’ disks with Local Shared Objects (LSOs). LSOs can be used to store state information and user identifiers, and thus can be used for similar purposes as HTTP cookies. In a paper by Soltani et al, researchers documented at least four instances of “respawning,” where(More)
Displaying website privacy policies to consumers in ways they understand is an important part of gaining consumers' trust and informed consent, yet most website privacy policies today are presented in confusing, legalistic natural language. Moreover, because website privacy policy presentations vary from website to website, policies are difficult to compare(More)
Online privacy policies are difficult to understand. Most privacy policies require a college reading level and an ability to decode legalistic, confusing, or jargon-laden phrases. Privacy researchers and industry groups have devised several standardized privacy policy formats to address these issues and help people compare policies. We evaluated three(More)
P3P compact policies (CPs) are a collection of three-character and four-character tokens that summarize a website's privacy policy pertaining to cookies. User agents, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) web browser, use CPs to evaluate websites' data collection practices and allow, reject, or modify cookies based on sites' privacy practices. CPs(More)
Natural language privacy policies have become a de facto standard to address expectations of “notice and choice” on the Web. However, users generally do not read these policies and those who do read them struggle to understand their content. Initiatives aimed at addressing this problem through the development of machine-readable standards have run into(More)
Website developers can use Adobe’s Flash Player product to store information locally on users’ disks with Local Shared Objects (LSOs). LSOs can be used to store state information and user identifiers, and thus can be used for similar purposes as HTTP cookies. In a paper by Soltani et al, researchers documented at least four instances of “respawning,” where(More)
1. MOTIVATION Natural language privacy policies have become the de facto standard “notice and choice” method on the Web, in order to communicate a website's data practices. Yet, website privacy policies are often complex and difficult to understand. As a result, few users bother to read them [9]. It has been proposed to improve notice and choice mechanisms(More)
We performed a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with 14 subjects recruited to discuss Internet advertising. Participants held a wide range of views ranging from enthusiasm about ads that inform them of new products, to resignation that ads are "a fact of life," to resentment of ads that they find "insulting." We discovered that many participants(More)