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“Now that you mention it”: A Survey Experiment on Information, Salience and Online Privacy

Author

Listed:
  • Helia Marreiros

    () (University of Southampton, Economics Department, School of Social Sciences)

  • Mirco Tonin

    () (Free University of Bolzano‐Bozen, Faculty of Economics and Management)

  • Michael Vlassopoulos

    () (University of Southampton, Economics Department, School of Social Sciences)

  • M.C. Schraefel

    (University of Southampton, Electronics and Computer Sciences Department)

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 have incomplete information about the digital transactions of their data. This paper investigates whether highlighting positive or negative aspects of online privacy, thereby mitigating the informational problem, can affect consumers’ privacy actions and attitudes. Results of two online survey experiments indicate that participants adopt a more conservative stance on disclosing identifiable information, such as name and email, even when they are informed about positive attitudes of companies towards their privacy. On the other hand, they do not change their attitudes and social actions towards privacy. These findings suggest that privacy concerns are dormant and may manifest when consumers are asked to think about privacy; and that privacy behavior is not necessarily sensitive to exposure to objective threats or benefits of disclosing personal information.

Suggested Citation

  • Helia Marreiros & Mirco Tonin & Michael Vlassopoulos & M.C. Schraefel, 2016. "“Now that you mention it”: A Survey Experiment on Information, Salience and Online Privacy," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS34, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
  • Handle: RePEc:bzn:wpaper:bemps34
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ramnath K. Chellappa & Shivendu Shivendu, 2010. "Mechanism Design for "Free" but "No Free Disposal" Services: The Economics of Personalization Under Privacy Concerns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1766-1780, October.
    2. Beresford, Alastair R. & Kübler, Dorothea & Preibusch, Sören, 2012. "Unwillingness to pay for privacy: A field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 25-27.
    3. Alessandro ACQUISTI & Jens GROSSKLAGS, 2012. "An Online Survey Experiment on Ambiguity and Privacy," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(88), pages 19-39, 4th quart.
    4. Benndorf, Volker & Kübler, Dorothea & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2015. "Privacy concerns, voluntary disclosure of information, and unraveling: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 43-59.
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    6. Olivero, Nadia & Lunt, Peter, 2004. "Privacy versus willingness to disclose in e-commerce exchanges: The effect of risk awareness on the relative role of trust and control," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 243-262, April.
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    8. James Campbell & Avi Goldfarb & Catherine Tucker, 2015. "Privacy Regulation and Market Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 47-73, March.
    9. Posner, Richard A, 1981. "The Economics of Privacy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 405-409, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    survey experiment; information economics; privacy policies; salience; self-disclosure;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy
    • M38 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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