Privacy Fatigue: The Effect of Privacy Control Complexity on Consumer Electronic Information Disclosure

International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2014), Auckland, New Zealand, December 14–17, best paper nomination (accepted 27-July-2014)

19 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2014

See all articles by Mark J. Keith

Mark J. Keith

Brigham Young University - Marriott School

Courtenay Maynes

Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems

Paul Benjamin Lowry

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business

Jeffry Babb

West Texas A&M University

Date Written: December 14, 2014

Abstract

When online social networks change privacy control features (i.e. methods of sharing consumer information), the result is often media attention and public outcry. Facebook introduced new privacy controls in 2009 causing the Electronic Frontier Foundation to accuse them of pushing users to disclose more information than ever before. However, there is little research to indicate that such practices are effective. Although research on privacy control designs is emerging, few studies adopt theoretical bases or empirically test the results of the design. This study fills a theoretical and methodological gap in the context of privacy controls. We adopt feature fatigue theory from the marketing literature to explain the effects of privacy control complexity on consumer self-disclosure behavior. We test our model with a unique longitudinal field experiment wherein participants are randomly assigned to various treatments of privacy control complexity. We found support for our theoretical extension we term "privacy fatigue."

Keywords: privacy fatigue, information privacy, privacy controls, information disclosure, feature fatigue, field experiment

Suggested Citation

Keith, Mark J. and Maynes, Courtenay and Lowry, Paul Benjamin and Babb, Jeffry, Privacy Fatigue: The Effect of Privacy Control Complexity on Consumer Electronic Information Disclosure (December 14, 2014). International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2014), Auckland, New Zealand, December 14–17, best paper nomination (accepted 27-July-2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2529606

Mark J. Keith

Brigham Young University - Marriott School ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Courtenay Maynes

Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems ( email )

510 Tanner Building
Marriott School
Provo, UT 84602
United States

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business ( email )

1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Jeffry Babb

West Texas A&M University ( email )

Canyon, TX 79016
United States

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