When Social Networks Express Concerns about Information Privacy: Users’ Perception, Attitudes, and Trust: An Abstract
A key goal for any company dealing with big data today is to reinforce the brand’s opportunities to target users/customers through social networks. On the other hand, concerns about online privacy are being raised more frequently, especially regarding social networks, and perceptions slightly differ between users about the way brands use their big data. Understanding how trust is built, depending on the consumer’s attitude, remains a question of paramount importance for brands using social networks in order to better understand what users apprehend when using them. Some brands therefore attempt to answer this by modifying their privacy policies.
This paper aims to provide a framework for understanding where the fears of social network users lie regarding the security of their data on these platforms. To this end, this study adds to the literature in the operationalization of the privacy concerns of social networks with a 15-item scale developed by Smith et al. (1996) and measures the user’s attitude toward privacy concerns thanks to a new scale of 8 items developed by Pelet and Taieb (2017). A quantitative study based on an online survey involving 380 participants has been conducted in order to examine the effects of privacy concerns displayed by social networks themselves on users’ attitudes and trust. Results show significant effects of social networks’ privacy concerns on users’ attitudes. These attitudes in turn have a positive influence on trust and a mediating effect on the link between privacy concerns and users’ trust. The study also adds to the literature by showing how social networks could approach the gathering of data differently, i.e., by being more transparent about their use of the data collected and explaining the reasons for accessing particular data. An interesting example would be apps which ask for answers to short questions before being installed on handheld devices. The results could help brands to manage their relationship with users in order to favor positive attitudes leading to the establishment of trust and, therefore, more engagement from users with the potential to become customers.
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