Privacy Policy Statements and Consumer Willingness to Provide Personal Information

Privacy Policy Statements and Consumer Willingness to Provide Personal Information

David B. Meinert (Missouri State University, USA), Dane K. Peterson (Missouri State University, USA), John R. Criswell (Missouri State University, USA) and Martin D. Crossland (Oklahoma State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jeco.2006010101


Consumers’ concerns about information privacy are a primary obstacle to the success of e-commerce. The adoption of privacy policy statements is a direct response to this concern. This exploratory study examined the willingness of graduate students (who, by virtue of age, education, and income, are representative of typical Internet consumers) to provide various types of personal information given varying degrees of protection offered by privacy policy statements. The results demonstrated that the willingness to provide information to Web merchants increased as the level of privacy guaranteed by the statements increased. More importantly, the level of privacy promised by the statements interacted with respondents’ prior familiarity with policy statements in terms of their willingness to provide personal information. The results also demonstrated that while most individuals were aware of privacy policy statements, less than half of the respondents had ever read a privacy statement.

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