An empirical evaluation of online privacy concerns with a special focus on the importance of information transparency and personality traits

Detta är en avhandling från Luleå tekniska universitet

Sammanfattning: The Internet has become an essential tool in the personal and professional lives of millions of people. Despite this pervasiveness, there is a downside to using the web. When individuals go online, they leave behind digital footprints. These data trails provide detailed information that can be captured, manipulated, and potentially misused by public and private agencies, often without one's knowledge or consent. Thus, individual privacy is threatened at an unprecedented level. As recognition of this phenomenon grows, the issue of privacy has increased in salience. Although online privacy research has appeared regularly in the literature, there are still many issues left to explore. This dissertation determines a link between individual concern for online privacy, information transparency, and personality type. We adopt a quantitative approach and derive the hypotheses from previous studies. Empirical data are collected from a web- based survey given to students at Luleå University of Technology. Results show that privacy concerns are linked to information transparency. We present a new reliable unidimensional scale that indicates how much an individual values the importance of information transparency. Using a brief personality inventory, we also uncover differences among personality types in terms of perception of privacy and information transparency.

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