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Monitoring of Electronic Communications at Universities: Policies and Perceptions of Privacy

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2 Author(s)
Kurkovsky, S. ; Central Connecticut State Univ., CT, USA ; Syta, E.

This paper presents the results of a research study on the use of electronic communications by college students at public universities. We examine student perceptions and attitudes towards electronic communications, such as email, web browsing, using social networks, and other online activities, as well as their views and expectations of privacy and trust. We discuss a number of important characteristics of information technology as a facilitator of electronic communications on campus and their impact on the perceived privacy. We paid special attention to the effects of institutional policies concerning the monitoring of electronic communications and the resulting possible loss of privacy and trust. The results of our study indicate that regardless of their awareness of such policies, individuals have an inherent expectation that their on-campus electronic communications will stay private. Our results also suggest that average users do not understand the implications of electronic monitoring policies on their privacy. However, as a result of their understanding of these policies, users often adjust their communications in response to the possibility of diminishing privacy.

Published in:

System Sciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2011