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“Now that you mention it”: a survey experiment on information, inattention and online privacy

“Now that you mention it”: a survey experiment on information, inattention and online privacy
“Now that you mention it”: a survey experiment on information, inattention and online privacy
Personal data lie at the forefront of different business models and constitute the main source of revenue of several online companies. In many cases, consumers may have incomplete information or may be inattentive about the digital transactions of their data. This paper investigates whether highlighting positive or negative aspects of online privacy policies, thereby mitigating the informational problem, can affect consumers’ privacy actions and attitudes. Results of an online survey experiment indicate that participants adopt a more conservative stance on disclosing sensitive and identifiable information, even when positive attitudes of companies towards their privacy are made salient, compared to when privacy is not mentioned. On the other hand, they do not change their attitudes and social actions towards privacy. These findings suggest that privacy behavior is not necessarily sensitive to exposure to objective threats or benefits of disclosing personal information. Rather, people are inattentive and their dormant privacy concerns may manifest only when consumers are asked to think about privacy.
0167-2681
1-17
Rosa Marreiros, Helia
98fa5fe4-bdb6-4737-8a82-69dc3d1b031c
Tonin, Mirco
2929ca00-ca4e-4eb3-bf2b-a5d233b80253
Vlassopoulos, Michael
2d557227-958c-4855-92a8-b74b398f95c7
Schraefel, Monica
ac304659-1692-47f6-b892-15113b8c929f
Rosa Marreiros, Helia
98fa5fe4-bdb6-4737-8a82-69dc3d1b031c
Tonin, Mirco
2929ca00-ca4e-4eb3-bf2b-a5d233b80253
Vlassopoulos, Michael
2d557227-958c-4855-92a8-b74b398f95c7
Schraefel, Monica
ac304659-1692-47f6-b892-15113b8c929f

Rosa Marreiros, Helia, Tonin, Mirco, Vlassopoulos, Michael and Schraefel, Monica (2017) “Now that you mention it”: a survey experiment on information, inattention and online privacy. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 140, 1-17. (doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2017.03.024).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Personal data lie at the forefront of different business models and constitute the main source of revenue of several online companies. In many cases, consumers may have incomplete information or may be inattentive about the digital transactions of their data. This paper investigates whether highlighting positive or negative aspects of online privacy policies, thereby mitigating the informational problem, can affect consumers’ privacy actions and attitudes. Results of an online survey experiment indicate that participants adopt a more conservative stance on disclosing sensitive and identifiable information, even when positive attitudes of companies towards their privacy are made salient, compared to when privacy is not mentioned. On the other hand, they do not change their attitudes and social actions towards privacy. These findings suggest that privacy behavior is not necessarily sensitive to exposure to objective threats or benefits of disclosing personal information. Rather, people are inattentive and their dormant privacy concerns may manifest only when consumers are asked to think about privacy.

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1-s2.0-S0167268117300896-main - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 March 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 March 2017
Published date: 1 August 2017
Additional Information: Highlights • We investigate whether information affects consumers’ privacy actions and attitudes. • We explore how people react to information regarding privacy reported in the news. • Participants disclose less identifiable information when exposed to information. • Even when information relates to positive features of privacy. • Privacy concerns are dormant and manifest when users are asked to think about privacy.
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity, Social Sciences, Economics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410764
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410764
ISSN: 0167-2681
PURE UUID: 0bd8d371-e174-4ba7-8b14-113dc3f4aea1
ORCID for Michael Vlassopoulos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3683-1466

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jun 2017 09:34
Last modified: 06 Feb 2020 05:01

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Contributors

Author: Helia Rosa Marreiros
Author: Mirco Tonin
Author: Monica Schraefel

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