"Persistent Misperceptions: Americans' Misplaced Confidence in Privacy Policies, 2003-2015." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 2018.

Joseph Turow, Michael Hennessy, Nora Draper

This paper examines the persistence of Americans’ misunderstanding of the function of privacy policies. We also identify groups that have misplaced confidence in the privacy policy label and address whether the groups’ patterns of misperception have changed over time. The findings add a new dimension to the argument that the usefulness of privacy policies needs to be reassessed. As a remedy, we call for media literacy programs to address structural features of media systems that lead to broadly held misperceptions such as the one examined here.