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Agents presenting themselves as Strangers duringPrivacy Permission Requests: Effects on Disclosureand Privacy Awareness of Children

Zwart, Nynke A. (2021) Agents presenting themselves as Strangers duringPrivacy Permission Requests: Effects on Disclosureand Privacy Awareness of Children.

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Abstract:Young children are prone to create strong bonds with robots and are very trusting of companies up until the age of 12. They give out a lot of information about themselves, even though they seem privacy aware. In recent papers, it became clear that the embodiment of a robot can facilitate higher levels of infor-mation disclosure, which creates serious privacy concerns as no regulations existon this. Furthermore, not much research about this phenomenon has been done in relation to children, even though children are in contact with robots from a very young age and create strong bonds with them: this can make them more vulnerable to disclose information. These gaps in knowledge led to the experimental study (a 2x2 between-subject design) of this report in which 79 children, aged 8-12 years old, conversed with an embodied conversational agent for five minutes. The agent was either a Furhat robot or a Google Home Mini device. At several points in the conversation, the robot requested personal information in the form of a privacy permission request. Children’s compliance on this determined an information disclosure score and their understanding of the content of the request determined a privacy awareness score. Besides the different levels of agent embodiment, a “stranger presence” within the agent could occur during a request. For the Furhat, this meant a change in voice and face, for the Google Home Mini a change in voice only. The stranger symbolised the company behind each service, as the people behind a company are often strangers to its users. Next to this, children are taught about not complying to strangers from a young age and they indicate that they seek privacy from strangers online as well. This novel approach of a stranger presence might therefore trigger their knowledge on stranger danger and lower their information disclosure. The results show that the level of agent embodiment and presence or absence of a stranger did not lead to significant differences in information disclosure and privacy awareness.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/85721
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