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

Listed author(s):
  • Helia Marreiros
  • Mirco Tonin
  • Michael Vlassopoulos
  • m.c. schraefel

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.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2016/wp-cesifo-2016-02/cesifo1_wp5756.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5756.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5756
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  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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Avi Goldfarb & Catherine E. Tucker, 2011. "Privacy Regulation and Online Advertising," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(1), pages 57-71, January.
  5. 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.
  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.
  7. Avi Goldfarb & Catherine Tucker, 2012. "Shifts in Privacy Concerns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 349-353, May.
  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, 03.
  9. Posner, Richard A, 1981. "The Economics of Privacy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 405-409, May.
  10. Leslie K. John & Alessandro Acquisti & George Loewenstein, 2011. "Strangers on a Plane: Context-Dependent Willingness to Divulge Sensitive Information," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(5), pages 858-873.
  11. Alessandro Acquisti & Leslie K. John & George Loewenstein, 2013. "What Is Privacy Worth?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 249-274.
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