Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Today, people spend many hours each day on social networking sites where they share a great deal of information with others. Prior research has shown that, unlike many other online contexts (e.g., e-commerce), individuals who use social networking sites (SNS) tend to share their personal information almost completely irrespective of their concerns for information privacy (CFIP). Thus, researchers have asked whether people really care about their privacy in SNS. In this study, by developing a new conceptual model based on privacy calculus theory and testing it using a scenario-based survey (N = 180), we argue that the inconsistencies in the literature (i.e., information sharing in SNS in the presence of CFIP) have emerged because researchers have not explicitly conceptualized and properly operationalized models. Our results show that prior research widely lacks parallelism between the operationalization levels of CFIP and willingness to share information. Moreover, we show that situational factors such as sensitivity of information and perceived control over privacy play a critical role in explaining the decision-making mechanism for information disclosure in SNS.





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