Understanding Privacy-Focused Technology Use Among Generation Y: Its Impact on Behavioural Intention and Actual Use of Social Commerce

Understanding Privacy-Focused Technology Use Among Generation Y: Its Impact on Behavioural Intention and Actual Use of Social Commerce

Divine Quase Agozie (Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Cyprus), Muesser Nat (Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Cyprus) and Sampson Abeeku Edu (Cyprus International University, Nicosia, Cyprus)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2610-1.ch004


This chapter examines privacy-focused technology use among Generation Y cohorts and its impact on their intentions and actual use of social commerce. The study employs a partial least squares SEM to evaluate hypothesized relationships stated. Four hundred eighty-seven responses were used for the analysis. Results show that privacy-focused technology use fails to influence behavioural intentions. By inference, knowledge of privacy risks influences the behavioural intentions of Generation Y, but actual use is impacted where the risk is perceived to be beyond control. This empirical analysis provides insights into key behavioural and technical aspects, offering organizations insights into developing effective social commerce strategies.
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The desire for social interaction is not an entirely new human sensation, as humans have always sought to interact with others (Duffett, 2017). Technologies as social media offer innovative avenues that facilitate social interactions between people with shared interests (Yablonski, 2016). The myriad of benefits accrued to social media has increased the dependence of people on them (Harrigan, Evers, Miles, & Daly, 2017), thus igniting significant behavioural changes across domains (Barreda, Bilgihan, Nusair, & Okumus, 2015). For example, organizations have drifted from traditional commerce models to social networking channels to stimulate awareness and customer engagement (Duffett, 2017). Rather than printing adverts in magazines, and expecting to spark public interest, social media channels, favour businesses to target customers at the point of expressed interest (Kim & Kim, 2018).

Social networking sites (SNS) have made the digital space a viable commerce destination (Nisar & Whitehead, 2016) however, they have also made it content and media dystopia never imagined (Zhang & Lin, 2018). Concerns over illicit access to user data and obscure surveillance of user activity by unknown agencies on social media have risen significantly (Rainie, 2018). Besides, the growing occurrence of data breaches on social media sites has also reduced trust levels among users (Rainie, 2018). These concerns generally depict the dystopia referenced earlier and have sparked behavioural changes among users (Stouthuysen, Teunis, Reusen, & Slabbinck, 2018). For instance, Pew Research (2018) reports about 30% of the adult population in the USA taking steps to hide their social media information, and another 22% altering their online behaviour to remain anonymous. Carr, Barnidge, Lee and Tsang (2014) support the fact that behavioural changes emanating from security-related issues online bother on the lack of trust, as also alluded by Rainie (2018).

Scholars maintain that trust is at the core of all social interactions, and that lower trust levels increase the susceptibility of people to agenda setting (Carr, Barnidge, Lee, & Tsang, 2014), whereas mistrust reduces self-efficacy leading to withdrawal (Fabian and Wolfgang, 2018). Where users perceive negative trust or risks, they may disengage due to lack of motivation (Choi, Park, & Jung, 2018). Thus, negative trust implications generate undesirable reactions towards social media and its other uses social media like social commerce. Particularly because social commerce activities rely on the transfer of trust from SNS to redirect traffic onto the actual commerce sites (Hajli, et al., 2017), the increasing vertical privacy concerns and falling trust levels could affect social commerce engagements (Susanne & Menno, 2017).

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