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“To our health!” Perceived benefits offset privacy concerns in using national contact-tracing apps

Tin Trung Nguyen (Faculty of Business Administration, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Minh Tu Tran Hoang (Faculty of Business Administration, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Minh Tuan Phung (Faculty of Business Administration, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 13 May 2022

Issue publication date: 18 April 2023

439

Abstract

Purpose

Community health is placed under the limelight during the COVID-19 crisis, providing a unique context for investigating citizens' health-privacy tradeoff in accepting social surveillance technology. To elucidate this tradeoff dilemma, an extended privacy calculus framework integrated with the Health Belief Model, legislative protection, and individual collectivism was examined using the case of national contact-tracing apps.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested through PLS-SEM analysis with data collected from a survey on Bluezone – a national app in Vietnam.

Findings

The results indicated the negative impact of privacy concerns, which was offset by the positive effect of perceived benefits in using contact-tracing apps. The effect size of perceived benefits on usage frequency was twice as large as that of privacy concerns. Individual collectivism was revealed as a mitigator of the tradeoff dilemma, as it was positively associated with perceived benefits, whereas legislative protection had no such role. Citizens may perceive legislation protection as invalid when the technologies are developed, implemented, and monitored by the authorities.

Originality/value

The theoretical contributions lie in the extension of the privacy calculus model as well as its application in the context of mobile health apps and surveillance technology. The study empirically corroborated that the privacy calculus theory holds when technologies move along the pervasiveness spectrum. This study also provided actionable insights for policymakers and developers who advocate the mass acceptance of national contact-tracing apps.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Doctor Nguyen Thanh Nhu for his supportive comments.

Citation

Nguyen, T.T., Tran Hoang, M.T. and Phung, M.T. (2023), "“To our health!” Perceived benefits offset privacy concerns in using national contact-tracing apps", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 174-191. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-12-2021-0461

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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