No, apparently, according to scientists at MIT at least.
Generally we say we care about our privacy. We don't give out our passwords or tell people our 6 digit passcodes for a reason - that information is for me and me alone.
Recall the endless newspaper headlines about overbearing CCTV cameras lining street corners, and you'll think that yes, we do find privacy a really big deal.
Yet this study seems to show that when we say we're frustrated by a lack of privacy or unhappy about losing it, our actions paint a different picture. It was so easy for people to give up private data, all it took was an offer of free pizza.
The study raised two potential implications:
"Since the findings show consumers’ actions don’t align with what they say, and it’s difficult to gauge a consumer’s true privacy preference, policymakers might question the value of stated preferences.
On the other hand, consumers might need more extensive privacy protections 'to protect consumers from themselves' and their willingness to share data in exchange for relatively small monetary incentives."
While a more connected world is undoubtedly a better place, the user needs to be skilled in how to keep themselves safe online. Whether it's at work or at home, an understanding of how to protect your data and who might be after it can lead to greater protection. After all, how many times have you had to text a friend or your mum because of a dodgy looking email from their account about 70% off Ray-Ban sunglasses?
It's up to security companies and governments to educate people in protecting themselves and to make maintaining privacy a 'smoother experience', for everyone's benefit. Because your data is vulnerable, and if your friends are craving pizza too much, it's even more vulnerable.
“Generally, people don’t seem to be willing to take expensive actions or even very small actions to preserve their privacy,” Athey says. “Even though, if you ask them, they express frustration, unhappiness, or dislike of losing their privacy, they tend not to make choices that correspond to those preferences.”