E-Privacy in 2nd Generation E-Commerce: Privacy Preferences versus Actual Behavior

CACM, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2005

10 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2009

See all articles by Sarah Spiekermann

Sarah Spiekermann

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Bettina Berendt

Humboldt University of Berlin - Institute of Information Systems

Jens Grossklags

Institute of Information System

Abstract

interactive, privacy is a matter of increasing concern. Many surveys have investigated households' privacy attitudes and concerns, revealing a general desire among Internet users to protect their privacy. To complement these questionnaire-based studies, we conducted an experiment in which we compared selfreported privacy preferences of 171 participants with their actual disclosing behavior during an online shopping episode. Our results suggest that current approaches to protect online users' privacy, such as EU data protection regulation or P3P, may face difficulties to do so effectively. This is due to their underlying assumption that people are not only privacy conscious, but will also act accordingly. In our study, most individuals stated that privacy was important to them, with concern centering on the disclosure of different aspects of personal information. However, regardless of their specific privacy concerns, most participants did not live up to their self-reported privacy preferences. As participants were drawn into the sales dialogue with an anthropomorphic 3-D shopping bot, they answered a majority of questions, even if these were highly personal. Moreover, different privacy statements had no effect on the amount of information disclosed; in fact, the mentioning of EU regulation seemed to cause a feeling of 'false security'. The results suggest that people appreciate highly communicative EC environments and forget privacy concerns once they are `inside the Web'.

Keywords: Privacy, Automated Shopping and Trading, Legal Issues

JEL Classification: O33, O38

Suggested Citation

Spiekermann, Sarah and Berendt, Bettina and Grossklags, Jens, E-Privacy in 2nd Generation E-Commerce: Privacy Preferences versus Actual Behavior. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=761107

Sarah Spiekermann (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Augasse 2-6
Vienna
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/~sspiek

Bettina Berendt

Humboldt University of Berlin - Institute of Information Systems ( email )

Spandauer Str. 1
Berlin, D-10178
Germany

Jens Grossklags

Institute of Information System ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
Berlin, 10178
Germany

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