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JIPS 2010 6.1 Article 1

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Prod. Code: JIPS2010-6.1Art1

Determinants of Behavioral Responses to Online Privacy: The Effects of Concern, Risk Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, and Communication Sources on Self- Protection Strategies

Hichang Cho, National University of Singapore, Singapore, cnmch@nus.edu.sg


This study identifies the underlying dimensions of privacy protection behavior and examines how it is selectively influenced by central theoretical constructs such as affect/attitude (operationalized here as privacy concern), cognitive beliefs (risk beliefs and self-efficacy beliefs), and external factors (communication effects) pertaining to online privacy. The findings reveal three unique dimensions of privacy protection behavior (i.e., opt-out, proactive, and use of privacy enhancing technologies [PET]). The results, based on survey data (n = 836), reveal that privacy concerns, risk beliefs, and self-efficacy have a significant impact on self-protective action, though their impact varies across the types of behavioral strategy. While opt-out and proactive protection strategies were mainly influenced by privacy concern, the use of PET was directly influenced by risk beliefs (perceived vulnerability) and self-efficacy beliefs. Communication factors figured as an antecedent to risk beliefs (personal- and societal-level risk judgments). The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.