Impact of privacy concern in social networking web sites

Xin Tan (Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey, USA)
and
Li Qin (Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey, USA)
Yongbeom Kim (Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, USA)
Jeffrey Hsu (Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Publication date: 30 March 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand the impact of users' privacy concerns on their acceptance of social networking web sites (SNWs).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops two research models, with privacy concern conceptualized either as an antecedent of acceptance intention, or as a moderator of the relationships in the technology acceptance model (TAM). Using a survey questionnaire, empirical data were collected from 428 undergraduate college students. Structured equation modeling was used to test the validity of the proposed research models.

Findings

The privacy concerns of the research respondents were found to be statistically significant. However, they did not directly affect users' acceptance of social networking web sites. Instead, privacy concerns did moderate the effects of perceived usefulness, and perceived ease of use, on users' intention to continue to use SNWs.

Research limitations/implications

The study identifies the theoretical foundations of privacy and privacy concerns in the context of SNWs. This empirical study, based on an established theoretical foundation, will help the research community to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of privacy concern in the context of social networking.

Practical implications

The findings of this study can provide SNW operators with useful strategies and tactics to enhance users' acceptance depending on their level of privacy concern.

Originality/value

With the worldwide rapid growth of SNWs, there have been ongoing concerns about how users' private information is viewed or used by others. This study provides much needed empirical evidence about the impact of privacy concerns on users' acceptance of SNWs.

Keywords

Citation

Tan, X., Qin, L., Kim, Y. and Hsu, J. (2012), "Impact of privacy concern in social networking web sites", Internet Research, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 211-233. https://doi.org/10.1108/10662241211214575

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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