University of Twente Student Theses


Incentives and Reputation as Predictors for Privacy Concerns and People’s Willingness to disclose Information to E-Vendors

Kaul, S. (2016) Incentives and Reputation as Predictors for Privacy Concerns and People’s Willingness to disclose Information to E-Vendors.

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Abstract:Providing personal information is connected to privacy concerns and loss of control. In the domain of e-commerce an increasing demand for such information is present. The controlled use of customer data can be beneficial for both sides of the spectrum, but can also involve risks that need to be considered. Referring to the cost-benefit calculus and the privacy paradox, incentives and other predictors play a role for customers to decide on disclosure of personal information to e-vendors. The study at hand aimed to investigate the influence of incentives and corporate reputation on privacy concerns and willingness to disclose personal information. An online survey with 369 German respondents was conducted to examine these effects using a fictional vendor website in six different conditions. In the presented scenarios the e-vendor requested their customers to reveal personal information by filling out a questionnaire. The e-vendor would compensate the customers for disclosing information with either a monetary or non-monetary reward. Three different variations for corporate reputation were used – two positive reputations with emphasis on either service performance or privacy protection, and one negative reputation. The results revealed that willingness to disclose is influenced by the value of an offered incentive, by personal privacy evaluation, privacy concerns, and partially by corporate reputation. Furthermore, privacy concerns are only affected by value of incentive and personal privacy evaluation. The study yielded theoretical and practical implications, such as the knowledge about the importance of the value of an incentive. A distinction between monetary and non-monetary benefits is not that relevant when choosing a reward system. Researchers and e-vendors should concentrate more on offering incentives that are valuable for the target group. A compensation that is perceived as beneficial and worthy has a stronger impact on people than a reward that is taken as indifferent. Furthermore, people who are generally concerned about their privacy are also more concerned about the protection of their privacy on websites that request information. It needs to be further investigated how privacy concerns can be lowered in general to make information disclosure more likely.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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