Date of Defense

4-21-2017

Date of Graduation

4-2017

Department

Business - Interdisciplinary

First Advisor

Alan Rea

Second Advisor

Kuanchin Chen

Third Advisor

Mohammadreza Mousavizadeh

Abstract

Mobile apps create a space for users to share information with other users and, in doing so, the creators of the applications. Generally, the greater amount of sharing information that occurs between users and creators enhances the experience of the apps for both parties. However, the extent to which mobile apps use this information can cause concerns with users about privacy due to the unknown practices of mobile apps relevant to data collection, data sharing, and data storage.

Documents, such as privacy policies, exist in attempts to moderate these concerns. Additionally, mobile apps offer in-app features for the same reasons. Previous work does not develop a connection between policy language and in-app features, called control mechanisms, to address these interests of privacy; and if policy language or control mechanisms address these interests more than the other. This study considers four mobile apps, all categorized as social networking apps, to evaluate how policy language and control mechanisms meet users’ privacy concerns, and which favors control on behalf of the user or the creator.

Analysis of the documents titled, “Privacy Policies,” or, “Data Policy,” revealed that privacy policy language benefits the creators of mobile apps; while in-app features more so service users of mobile apps. In-app features respects users by offering more control in managing privacy concerns. There continues to be constant negotiation in the relationship between creators and users; neither entity wants to give up more advantages than necessary. Limitations and future implications resolve this study.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Restricted to Campus until

6-19-2019

Available for download on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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