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Understanding individuals’ intentions to limit online personal information disclosures to protect their privacy: implications for organizations and public policy

  • Girish N. Punj
Article
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Abstract

The purpose of the present research is to understand individuals’ intentions to limit their personal information online to partially anonymize their digital identity. Key concepts from several privacy theories are used to generate hypotheses that can be used to understand the behavior of interest. Data from a national probability sample of 792 adults is used to test the hypotheses. The results indicate that the size of an individual’s digital footprint, their need for control over personal information, and past privacy violations are important determinants of their online information limiting behavior. The findings have important implications for theory and practice. From a theoretical perspective, the findings indicate that individual intentions to limit personal information online seem to be based on a desire to balance their current online exposure with their need to control their personal online information. Past privacy violations also exert an influence on online information disclosures. The research is important for organizations and policy makers in designing privacy policies and proposing regulation that recognizes the dilemma that individuals encounter when they share information online with an organization for mutual benefit.

Keywords

Privacy Information limiting behavior Anonymity Digital identity Public policy Information protection Regulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marketing, School of BusinessUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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