Research Summary

Anonymity and Identity

by John A. Deighton


In most consumer markets, consumers are accustomed to operating in relative anonymity. A complex social adjustment is occurring as people realize that anonymity is often no longer their default condition - it must be sought and in some cases bought. New conceptions of privacy are being constructed by processes of public policymaking and marketplace negotiation in settings that range from healthcare to security in air travel to email spam. This research is building a conceptual framework and empirical evidence on consumer preferences for anonymity and identity.