The Role of Social Cues and Trust in Users’ Private Information Disclosure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acrossdifferentdomains, websitesareincorporatingsocialmedia features, renderingthemselvesinteractive andcommunity-oriented. This studysuggeststhatthese“friendly”websitesmayindirectlyencourageusers to disclose privateinformation. To investigate this possibility, we carriedoutonline experiments utilizing a YouTube-likevideo-browsingplatform. Thisplatformprovidesarealisticandcontrolledenvironmentinwhich to study users’ behaviors and perceptions during their first encounter with a website. We show that the presence of social cues on a website (e.g., an environment in which users “like” or rate website content) indirectlyaffectsusers’likelihoodofdisclosingprivateinformationtothatwebsite(suchasfullname,address, andbirthdate)byenhancingusers’“socialperceptions”ofthewebsite(i.e.,theirperceptionsthatthewebsite isaplacewheretheycansocializewithothers). Wefurthershowthatthepresenceofsocialcuesismorelikely toenhanceusers’socialperceptionswhenusersareprimedtoperceivethewebsiteastrustworthy,asopposed to untrustworthy (throughthe presentation oftrustcuessuchas data protection disclaimers). Moreover, we ruleoutusers’privacyconcernsasanalternativemechanisminfluencingtherelationshipbetweensocialcues andinformationdisclosure. Wegroundourobservationsingoalsystemsandtrusttheories. Ourinsightsmay be beneficialboth for managers and for policy makers who seekto safeguardusers’ privacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1133
Number of pages25
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
European ResearchCouncil
Henry Crown Institute of Business Research in Israel
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
European Research Council
Israel Science Foundation
University of Haifa
Jeremy Coller Foundation
’sHorizon2020 research and innovation program

    Keywords

    • Privacy
    • information disclosure
    • social cues
    • social features
    • trust

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