Evaluating 'Prefer not to say' Around Sensitive Disclosures

Mark Warner, Agnieszka Kitkowska, Jo Gibbs, Juan F. Maestre, Ann Blandford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


As people's offline and online lives become increasingly entwined, the sensitivity of personal information disclosed online is increasing. Disclosures often occur through structured disclosure fields (e.g., drop-down lists). Prior research suggests these fields may limit privacy, with non-disclosing users being presumed to be hiding undesirable information. We investigated this around HIV status disclosure in online dating apps used by men who have sex with men. Our online study asked participants (N=183) to rate profiles where HIV status was either disclosed or undisclosed. We tested three designs for displaying undisclosed fields. Visibility of undisclosed fields had a significant effect on the way profiles were rated, and other profile information (e.g., ethnicity) could affect inferences that develop around undisclosed information. Our research highlights complexities around designing for non-disclosure and questions the voluntary nature of these fields. Further work is outlined to ensure disclosure control is appropriately implemented around online sensitive information disclosures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’20)
Subtitle of host publicationApril 25–30, 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020
Event2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2020 - Hawaiʻi Convention Center, Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020


Conference2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2020
Abbreviated titleCHI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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