Caring Is not Enough: The Importance of Internet Skills for Online Privacy Protection

Information, Communication & Society, 20(8), 2016; 1261-1278. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1229001

26 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2021

See all articles by Moritz Büchi

Moritz Büchi

University of Zurich

Natascha Just

University of Zurich

Michael Latzer

University of Zurich – IKMZ, Media Change & Innovation Division

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This article explains Internet users’ self-help activities in protecting their privacy online using structural equation modeling. Based on a representative survey of Swiss Internet users, it reveals past experiences with privacy breaches as a strong predictor of current protective behavior. Further, in line with the “privacy paradox” argument, caring about privacy (privacy attitudes) alone does not necessarily result in substantial self-protection. Most strikingly, however, general Internet skills are key in explaining users’ privacy behavior. These skills enable users to reduce risks of privacy loss while obtaining the benefits from online activities that increasingly depend on the revelation of personal data. Consequently, Internet skills are an essential starting point for public policies
regarding users’ self-help in privacy protection.

Suggested Citation

Büchi, Moritz and Just, Natascha and Latzer, Michael, Caring Is not Enough: The Importance of Internet Skills for Online Privacy Protection (2017). Information, Communication & Society, 20(8), 2016; 1261-1278. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1229001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3871896

Moritz Büchi (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Andreasstrasse 15
Zürich, CH-8050
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://moritzbuchi.com/

Natascha Just

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Michael Latzer

University of Zurich – IKMZ, Media Change & Innovation Division ( email )

Andreasstraße 15
Zürich, CH-8050
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.mediachange.ch

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