Potoglou, Dimitris Palacios, Juan Feijoo, Claudio Gómez Barroso, Jose-Luis
Year of Publication:
26th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS), Madrid, Spain, 24-27 June 2015
Disjoint research efforts have so far considered latent constructs (e.g. privacy concerns) either as an independent variable to explore consumers' actual or stated intentions or - to a less extent - as dependent variable explained through a number of antecedents (e.g. privacy awareness, demographic differences). However, there has not been a formal link across antecedents, latent constructs and behavioural (or stated) intentions in the context of ecommerce or information disclosure. This paper aims to fill this gap in the literature in order to establish a better understanding of the role of attitudes in respondents' willingness to engage in online purchases. We employ a stated preference discrete choice experiment to collect respondents' choices across online retailers, conventional store and opt-out options under different levels of personal-information requirements. Personal information in the experiment is presented across three dimensions (attributes): amount/type of information collected, duration of storage and the likelihood of this information being shared with third parties. These dimensions are introduced in order to be able to capture risks involved in online transactions according to consumer perceptions. Using the Privacy Calculus as a guiding conceptual framework, the experiment also offers respondents trade-offs between benefits such as faster check-out, detailed reviews and priority shipping of the purchased product. The choice data are complemented with a set of attitudinal indicators (psychometric scales) describing individuals’ attitudes toward information privacy protection. The data comes from 502 participants representing the online-user population in the UK. We report results from Integrated Latent Variable models, which test the influence of these latent constructs in the consumers' decision to purchase a product online and their sensitivity upon attributes describing online retailers. Preliminary model estimation results show that the higher an individual's concern, general caution and technical protection the less likely a consumer is to purchase a product online. In a joint model, the influence of privacy concern is found to outweigh the influence of general caution and technical protection. Also, consumers with increased general caution are less sensitive in the case an online retailer shares their personal data with third parties.