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Examining User Privacy Practices While Shopping Online: What Are Users Looking for?

  • Kim-Phuong L. Vu
  • Fredrick P. Garcia
  • Deborah Nelson
  • John Sulaitis
  • Beth Creekmur
  • Vanessa Chambers
  • Robert W. Proctor
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4558)

Abstract

This study evaluated users’ behaviors when performing inexpensive or expensive e-commerce purchases on familiar and unfamiliar Web sites. Users were more comfortable with making inexpensive than expensive purchases. They also felt more secure and that their privacy was better protected when shopping with a familiar Web site than an unfamiliar one, especially for expensive purchases. For inexpensive purchases, if the price was “right”, participants were willing to purchase the product on unfamiliar Web sites. For expensive purchases, though, the reputation of the organization hosting the Web site was the most important factor. In both cases, privacy was a minor determinant for deciding whether to make a purchase from a Web site. Only 20% of the users regularly accessed the sites’ privacy policies during their interactions with the sites. Moreover, less than half of the participants even looked at privacy-policy links during their interactions with the Web sites.

Keywords

e-commerce privacy policies usability eye-tracking 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim-Phuong L. Vu
    • 1
  • Fredrick P. Garcia
    • 1
  • Deborah Nelson
    • 1
  • John Sulaitis
    • 1
  • Beth Creekmur
    • 1
  • Vanessa Chambers
    • 1
  • Robert W. Proctor
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840USA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 Third St., W. Lafayette, IN 47907USA

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