Insider Threat: Cognitive Effects of Modern Apathy towards Privacy, Trust, and Security

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Valarie YerdonPeter Hancock

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyze how contemporary social apathy levels towards privacy have changed across time from before the integration of computers into American society. With private information stored in a computational net of digital information, rather than in personal possession and control, there may be signals towards the increase in the “inattentive” insider Threat to cybersecurity. By using the results of sequential privacy index surveys (Westin, 2003; Kumaragru & Cranor, 2005), along with trait and state subjective questionnaires, changes and possible shared factors in attitude towards privacy were evaluated. It was hypothesized that there would be significant evidence for 1) change over time in concern for privacy, 2) high distrust, 2) high apathy, 3) low motivation, 4) difference between privacy group membership and subjective measure factors. These questionnaires were randomly administered to volunteer undergraduate psychology students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) who were compensated with course extra credit through a university system. The results of this study suggested that privacy concern has lowered over time, there was an overall high level of subjective apathy, and high level of instrumental motivation, which was correlated with the level of privacy concern. This research is looking for indicators of lower concern for privacy, to mitigate the inattentive insider threat in the workplace. Future phases of this research will use the same privacy and subjective questionnaires with the addition of an Implicit Association Test (IAT) for privacy and apathy in the primed and unprimed positions. This research will be used to validate an IAT for privacy, conduct a cross-factor analysis of privacy concern, state, and traits, along with testing for the ability to prime privacy concern.

Keywords: Privacy, Security, Insider Threat

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002196

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