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Abstract

Organizations and governments continue to advance toward using electronic means to interact with their customers. However, the use of this medium presents an access-to-service issue for people across the digital divide who do not have private Internet access from their homes. Publicly-available computers connected to the Internet are an important and expanding source of Internet access for consumers. Still, we do not know if people are willing to engage in e-commerce transactions in such environments. We expand the Facilitating Conditions construct of Triandis' (1980) modified theory of reasoned action to develop a model of transactional Web site use in public environments that incorporates the physical and virtual computer environments associated with publicly accessible computers, moderated by the individual's need for privacy. The model was tested in public libraries, and the results indicate that the virtual and physical facilitating conditions of a public computer are determinants of e-commerce use in a public environment, and the user's need for privacy moderates these relationships.

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