Text Document

Uncovering Privacy Attitudes and Practices in Instant Messaging

Fulltext URI

Document type

Additional Information



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Association for Computing Machinery


We present an analysis of privacy attitudes and practices in Instant Messaging based on responses to an online questionnaire. On a 7-point Likert scale, the reported concern about IM privacy spanned the whole range, with the average being slightly below medium". Respondents' justifications for privacy concerns revealed that the main contributing factors were: sensitivity of content, personal disposition towards privacy, understanding of technology, and potential persistence of conversations. Expectations for various categories of contacts differed significantly. Our findings indicate that it may be useful to leverage grouping functionality for privacy management. We also propose making the underlying technology more transparent."


Patil, Sameer; Kobsa, Alfred (2005): Uncovering Privacy Attitudes and Practices in Instant Messaging. Proceedings of the 2005 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/1099203.1099220. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 109–112. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA