A Comprehensive Privacy Calculus Model – The Case of Smartphones
Associate Dean for Research
Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management
Friday, Nov 20
10 – 11 am | Zoom
(send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom link)
Advances in data collection abilities, the rapid diffusion of smartphones, and recent large scale data breaches are causing consumers’ privacy awareness and concerns to rise. Privacy related literature contains several models such as the Privacy Calculus used to understand privacy behaviours and privacy concerns. The Privacy Calculus involves a rational decision making process whereby an individual engages in a cost-benefit analysis of competing beliefs to decide whether to disclose their personal information. The current research extends the original Privacy Calculus. Our model reflects a novel cost-benefit analysis of competing beliefs on smartphone privacy concerns. We extend this model with variables representing influencers and perceived protection. Overall six categories, composed of 14 variables, are considered for our comprehensive calculus model of privacy concerns: Benefits, Risks, External Influence, Internal Influence, External Protection, and Internal Protection. A survey instrument is distributed to 603 smartphone users to collect both quantitative and qualitative responses. Structured equation modeling (SEM) and a manual content analysis are employed to analyze the data. The quantitative results reveal that factors within the Benefit, Risk, Internal Protection and Internal Influence categories have significant impact on privacy concerns while the External Protection and External Influence categories do not. From the qualitative results, 12 core factors and 22 sub-factors are determined to influence smartphone privacy concerns. Overall, the novel theoretical model of calculus on privacy concerns extends the original privacy calculus for a more thorough and granular understanding of individuals’ conceptualization of privacy concerns and their subsequent intentions to disclose personal information. This research is timely as organizations need to balance their need for customer information with rapidly increasing privacy concerns. The findings have significant practical implications for other stakeholders such as smartphone developers, smartphone service providers, and government regulators.