European Journal of Information Systems

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 624–644 | Cite as

The role of privacy assurance mechanisms in building trust and the moderating role of privacy concern

  • Gaurav BansalEmail author
  • Fatemeh ‘Mariam’ Zahedi
  • David Gefen
Empirical Research


Privacy policy statements and privacy assurance cues are among the most important website features that online providers use to increase individuals’ trust and willingness to disclose private information online. The focus of this study is a comprehensive examination of the process by which privacy assurance mechanisms influence trust and the moderating role of privacy concern in this process. We use the lens of the Elaboration Likelihood Model to investigate the way different individuals perceive and process privacy assurance mechanisms. We argue that the trust-enhancing role of these mechanisms depends on the individual’s privacy concern. The results of this study articulate the process by which various privacy assurance mechanisms operate in enhancing an individual’s trust, and show that there are distinct behavioral differences between individuals with high- vs low-privacy concern when forming their trust to disclose private information. The paper sheds new light on the role of elaboration in the trust building process, and shows why privacy assurance mechanisms have different impacts depending on individuals’ privacy concerns.


information privacy concern trust elaboration likelihood model privacy policy statements privacy assurance cues 


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaurav Bansal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fatemeh ‘Mariam’ Zahedi
    • 2
  • David Gefen
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin – Green BayWIU.S.A.
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin – MilwaukeeWIU.S.A.
  3. 3.Drexel UniversityPAU.S.A.

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