Do Privacy Concerns about Social Robots Affect Use Intentions? Evidence from an Experimental Vignette Study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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While the privacy implications of social robots have been increasingly discussed and privacy-sensitive robotics is becoming a research field within human-robot interaction, little empirical research has investigated privacy concerns about robots and the effect they have on behavioral intentions. To address this gap, we present the results of an experimental vignette study that includes antecedents from the privacy, robotics, technology adoption, and trust literature. Using linear regression analysis, with the privacy-invasiveness of a fictional but realistic robot as the key manipulation, we show that privacy concerns affect use intention significantly and negatively. Compared to earlier work done through a survey, where we found a robot privacy paradox, the experimental vignette approach allows for a more realistic and tangible assessment of respondents’ concerns and behavioral intentions, showing how potential robot users take into account privacy as consideration for future behavior. We contextualize our findings within broader debates on privacy and data protection with smart technologies.