Information disclosure on mobile devices: Re-examining privacy calculus with actual user behavior

Academic Article

Abstract

  • The use of mobile applications continues to experience exponential growth. Using mobile apps typically requires the disclosure of location data, which often accompanies requests for various other forms of private information. Existing research on information privacy has implied that consumers are willing to accept privacy risks for relatively negligible benefits, and the offerings of mobile apps based on location-based services (LBS) appear to be no different. However, until now, researchers have struggled to replicate realistic privacy risks within experimental methodologies designed to manipulate independent variables. Moreover, minimal research has successfully captured actual information disclosure over mobile devices based on realistic risk perceptions. The purpose of this study is to propose and test a more realistic experimental methodology designed to replicate real perceptions of privacy risk and capture the effects of actual information disclosure decisions. As with prior research, this study employs a theoretical lens based on privacy calculus. However, we draw more detailed and valid conclusions due to our use of improved methodological rigor. We report the results of a controlled experiment involving consumers (n=1025) in a range of ages, levels of education, and employment experience. Based on our methodology, we find that only a weak, albeit significant, relationship exists between information disclosure intentions and actual disclosure. In addition, this relationship is heavily moderated by the consumer practice of disclosing false data. We conclude by discussing the contributions of our methodology and the possibilities for extending it for additional mobile privacy research. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Keith MJ; Thompson SC; Hale J; Lowry PB; Greer C
  • Start Page

  • 1163
  • End Page

  • 1173
  • Volume

  • 71
  • Issue

  • 12