Does the facial image matter? An experiment on the willingness to disclose private information.

Last registered on March 19, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Does the facial image matter? An experiment on the willingness to disclose private information.
Initial registration date
April 05, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 05, 2021, 2:05 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
March 19, 2022, 1:44 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Peking University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Peking University
PI Affiliation
Peking University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In the age of information technology and big data, how people evaluate their personal data is a basic and important issue that has not been fully explored. Firstly, we want to find out whether people’s willingness to disclose privacy information with or without facial image are significantly different. So, we will measure the willingness to accept (WTA) the uploading of a screenshot of their current "Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card" or "Personal Health Code" (both of them contain private information) , whose main difference is whether include a facial image. Then, we will test the “privacy paradox” by comparing the participants’ WTAs in a hypothetical environment with those in a real-incentive environment.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Gao, Yu, Juanjuan Meng and Yu Wang. 2022. " Does the facial image matter? An experiment on the willingness to disclose private information. ." AEA RCT Registry. March 19.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
the willingness to accept the uploading of a current screenshot of her/his "Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card" or "Personal Health Code"
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Experiment 1:

There are two different types of private information in this experiment. One is the "Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card", which contains the risk level determined by the individual's itinerary, health status and the cities visited within 14 days. The other is the "Personal Health Code". Unlike the "Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card", it includes the risk level determined by the personal itinerary ,health status and a facial image of the individual. The main difference between a screenshot of “Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card” and “Personal Health Code” is the latter includes a photo of the participant’s face. A participant will be asked whether be willing to upload one specific kind of private information ("Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card" or "Personal Health Code") under one specific bid.

All the participants will be randomly divided into 2 treatment groups and be asked if they are willing to upload a screenshot of their current "Epidemic Prevention Itinerary Card"(Treatment Group 1) or "Personal Health Code"(Treatment Group 2) to obtain a specific amount of additional payment. As for the “specific amount of additional payment”, we will offer 3 bids(1, 10, 30) . The participants in each treatment will be randomly split into 3 fractions with equal number of people. So there are 6 treatment groups in total.

In this experiment, the time on the screenshots is used to verify whether it is the real photo captured at the moment. It can effectively solve a problem in several previous experiments about privacy that it is hard to effectively verify the authenticity of private information provided by participants.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done by the survey platform.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
300 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
For experiment 1: 50*6
50 individuals for each treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Guanghua School of Management, Peking University IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials