Replication: The Effect of Differential Privacy Communication on German Users' Comprehension and Data Sharing Attitudes


Patrick Kühtreiber, Viktoriya Pak, and Delphine Reinhardt, University of Göttingen


Differential privacy (DP) has become a standard for privacy-preserving data collection. However, there is little understanding of users' comprehension of this privacy technique, which could increase users' willingness to share personal data. Xiong et al.'s 2020 study tackles this problem by investigating the effect of differential privacy communication to laypeople, with an average of 466 participants per study primarily from USA and India. Since privacy decisions have been shown to depend on participants' culture in multiple past studies, we have replicated this study with German participants to compare the results with the original study and to gain further insights about differential privacy communication in a different cultural context. After having translated the original questionnaire into German, we conducted two studies with an average of 728 participants. While we could confirm that participants did not fully understand differential privacy and that a new method to communicate the effects of differential privacy is needed, participants in our study were more willing to share data than the participants from USA and India. This finding is surprising, as Germans have been shown to be more worried about their privacy than other cultures.

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@inproceedings {281238,
author = {Patrick K{\"u}htreiber and Viktoriya Pak and Delphine Reinhardt},
title = {Replication: The Effect of Differential Privacy Communication on German Users{\textquoteright} Comprehension and Data Sharing Attitudes},
booktitle = {Eighteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2022)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-30-4},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {117--134},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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