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
Date Written: December 14, 2014
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
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