BD.20.016 – Predicting and Preventing Privacy Apathy. The impact of AI on self-expression values.

Route: Creating Value through responsible access to and use of big data

Cluster question: 070 Why do we do what we do, are we who we think we are, and what factors influence our behaviour? In other words, how can we understand our behaviour?

Inglehart and Wetzel (2005) posited that self-expression values are becoming stronger worldwide, and they are central to democratic development. With the advent of the GDPR and a global increasing awareness of AI influence on human behavior, privacy awareness is more crucial than ever. As social media disclosures inform personalized user feedback via AI algorithms, Big Data presents a unique challenge to democratic institutions. Such a tailored experience ensures users receive selective exposure to content (i.e., ‘filter bubbles’), and consequently, results in increased political and social polarization across societies (Chitra & Musco, 2019). Despite this, several studies point to a chasm between self-reported attitudes of privacy and actual privacy behaviors, (i.e., ‘privacy paradox’). Individuals’ willingness to disclose personal information on social media has traditionally been viewed as function of a risk-benefit calculation. Using data from the World Values Survey (Wave 7), the Hofstede Inventory, and data from Dutch, Italian, Polish, Chinese, and American Facebook users, we seek to determine the extent to which internal factors drive disclosures. How do personal variables such as cultural values (e.g., uncertainty avoidance, individualism, long term orientation) and individual factors (e.g., age, locus of control) influence situational variables (e.g., ease of privacy management) in predicting privacy apathy? Our Impact Plan approach seeks to develop a comprehensive and transparent model to predict privacy apathy with regard to social media use. As a second part of the study, we conduct focus groups with social media users (e.g., Facebook) to examine the impact that AI has on self-expression values. Using thematic analysis, we explore the emergence of potential themes for AI’s impact on democratic values across cultures. Through responsible use of and access to Big Data, our aim is to generate insights geared toward sustainable interventions. Our proposed budget is within the 0.5-2 million Euros range.


AI, Big Data, disclosure, privacy, privacy apathy, social media


Organisation Tilburg University (TiU)
Name Dr. B. (Bart) van der Sloot