The closing educational gap in e-privacy management in European perspective

Angelica Maineri*, Peter Achterberg, Ruud Luijkx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Educational gaps are increasingly salient as skills and knowledge gain prominence in digital societies. E-privacy management, namely, the ability to control the flow of information about the self, is an important asset nowadays, since a skillful use of digital technologies enables full participation in social life and limits the exposure to unwarranted algorithmic processes. We investigate whether and why education affects e-privacy management, and whether the educational gaps vary following a country’s degree of digitalization. We empirically test two sets of mechanisms, one derived from the digital divide and diffusion of innovations theories and the other from the reflexive modernization theory. The study employs Eurobarometer 87.1 data (N = 21,177), collected in 2017 among representative samples from 28 European countries, and uses multilevel linear regression model. Findings suggest that the years spent in education positively affect e-privacy management, and that this effect is largely mediated by digital skills and Internet use, and to a lesser extent by a reflexive mind-set. The educational gap in e-privacy management narrows in more digitalized countries.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Research Online
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • AGE
  • ATTITUDES
  • BEHAVIOR
  • DIGITAL INEQUALITIES
  • DIVIDE
  • FACEBOOK
  • INFORMATION
  • INTERNET SKILLS
  • REFLEXIVITY
  • diffusion of innovations
  • digital divide
  • e-privacy
  • educational gaps
  • reflexivity

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