Retaining users after privacy invasions

Le Wang (Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China)
Zao Sun (Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China)
Xiaoyong Dai (Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China)
Yixin Zhang (University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Hai-hua Hu (Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi'an, China)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 23 July 2019



The purpose of this paper is to facilitate understanding of how to mitigate the privacy concerns of users who have experienced privacy invasions.


Drawing on the communication privacy management theory, the authors developed a model suggesting that privacy concerns form through a cognitive process involving threat-coping appraisals, institutional privacy assurances and privacy experiences. The model was tested using data from an empirical survey with 913 randomly selected social media users.


Privacy concerns are jointly determined by perceived privacy risks and privacy self-efficacy. The perceived effectiveness of institutional privacy assurances in terms of established privacy policies and privacy protection technology influences the perceptions of privacy risks and privacy self-efficacy. More specifically, privacy invasion experiences are negatively associated with the perceived effectiveness of institutional privacy assurances.

Research limitations/implications

Privacy concerns are conceptualized as general concerns that reflect an individual’s worry about the possible loss of private information. The specific types of private information were not differentiated.


This paper is among the first to clarify the specific mechanisms through which privacy invasion experiences influence privacy concerns. Privacy concerns have long been viewed as resulting from individual actions. The study contributes to literature by linking privacy concerns with institutional privacy practice.



Wang, L., Sun, Z., Dai, X., Zhang, Y. and Hu, H. (2019), "Retaining users after privacy invasions", Information Technology & People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.