Publication Details

Bandara, R., Fernando, M. & Akter, S. (2018). Is the privacy paradox a matter of psychological distance? An exploratory study of the privacy paradox from a construal level theory perspective. Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences | 2018 (pp. 3678-3687). Hawaii, United States: University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Institutional operators in the digital marketplace have delighted consumers with precise, highly personalized and customized products and services through the collection and mining of customers' personally identifiable data. However, the ethical conduct of online businesses continues to be a debatable issue, due to the increasing concerns over information privacy. Despite such controversies, scrutiny of consumer behavior has shown that consumers' concerns for privacy do not transfer into protective behaviors or abstinence during online activity. The aim of this study is to illuminate the disparity known as the 'privacy paradox' through the directions of the construal level theory. Based on semi-structured interviews with 21 online shopping consumers, we explain that, due to spatial, temporal, social, and hypothetical distance of privacy values, privacy is construed as an abstract phenomenon influencing the formation of distant-future attitudes and intentions rather than actual behavior.



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