Abstract: We study how remembrance of an authoritarian regime affects privacy concerns, leveraging Germany's strong culture of Holocaust remembrance. One example of this culture of remembrance are the Stolpersteine, plaques on the sidewalk signaling that a victim of Nazi persecution lived at a given address. We use a detailed street level imagery dataset of Berlin to study how Stolpersteine affect a novel geolocated measure of privacy concerns: whether a person asks for their building to be blurred on an online street-level imagery provider. To isolate causality, we leverage the quasi-experimental variation in Stolpersteine location once we control for the victims' location patterns around each address. We show that Stolpersteine cause a localized increase in blurring, as most of their effect on blurring concentrates within 10 meters of a Stolperstein. Furthermore, we show through an experimental survey that when Germans are primed to think about the Stolpersteine and Nazi persecution, they respond by spending more time on the experiment's final consent form, which constitutes another novel measure of privacy concerns.
Presented at (by coauthor or myself): ASREC 2023, ASSA 2024, 2023 EHES Conference, 2023 European Meeting of the UEA, Paris Dauphine University-PSL, UTDT