Students will give up their friends’ private info in exchange for pizza, study shows

You should probably be careful with which one of your pizza-loving pals you disclose personal information to. A study shows that students will disclose their friends’ private info — for pizza. Like, we’re not even kidding.

Before we go in on these so-called “friends,” we don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced a spike in motivation at the mere scent of food…so we get it. Food makes people do some unusual stuff (like compiling a food-themed bucket list or hosting a wedding reception at In-N-Out). Still, it’s kind of difficult to process the fact that people would easily sacrifice their friends’ digital privacy for a slice of free pizza.

The National Bureau of Economic Research published a study conducted by researchers at MIT and Stanford that involved 3,108 MIT undergrads as their subjects in the pizza-privacy experiment.

The findings show that 98 percent of the students agreed to give out their best friend’s email address in exchange for a free slice.

via giphy


OK, so to their credit, college is effin’ expensive, and any struggling student will tell you that finding money for tuition, books, housing, and food is a serious balancing act. However, that excuse doesn’t exactly pass the smell test, because the study also found that 94 percent of the students were willing to dish out their pal’s digital information even when they weren’t offered pizza.

The study’s authors believe this is simply because people don’t actually care about privacy as much as they say they do.

"Whereas people say they care about privacy, they are willing to relinquish private data quite easily when incentivized to do so," the researchers wrote.

This pains us to say, but it seems like we have grossly underestimated the power of pizza.