Indeed, there is often a considerable discrepancy between a user‘s specified privacy preference and actual behaviour on the Internet. Young Internet users readily reveal a great deal of personal data because, as digital natives, they have grown up with the Internet. Young people pursue a wealth of different activities online, duly leaving behind them a trail of personal information
which many online services, such as the social networks, process and sell. To find out more, this study by the German Economic Institute (IW) examined the privacy preferences of digital natives. 3,000 German school students aged 14 to 21 were surveyed on their use and perception of data protection on popular social media and networks. They were additionally asked about their willingness to pay for online services which better protect their data. The study shows that while privacy is important to many digital natives, most are unwilling to pay for it. And while there are some who appear prepared to pay for more privacy, the outlay they envisage is mostly small. A critical attitude to data exploitation by online services does not usually result in those services not being used.