Nudges for privacy and security: Understanding and assisting users’ choices online

Alessandro Acquisti, Idris Adjerid, Rebecca Balebako, Laura Brandimarte, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Saranga Komanduri, Pedro Giovanni Leon, Norman Sadeh, Florian Schaub, Manya Sleeper, Yang Wang, Shomir Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

352 Scopus citations


Advancements in information technology often task users with complex and consequential privacy and security decisions. A growing body of research has investigated individuals’ choices in the presence of privacy and information security tradeoffs, the decision-making hurdles affecting those choices, and ways to mitigate such hurdles. This article provides a multi-disciplinary assessment of the literature pertaining to privacy and security decision making. It focuses on research on assisting individuals’ privacy and security choices with soft paternalistic interventions that nudge users toward more beneficial choices. The article discusses potential benefits of those interventions, highlights their shortcomings, and identifies key ethical, design, and research challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44
JournalACM Computing Surveys
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Behavioral economics
  • Nudge
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Soft paternalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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