Abstract

Individuals conduct a privacy calculus before they disclose information by weighing benefits with privacy risks of disclosure. In line with the privacy calculus, if benefits outweigh privacy risks individuals disclose information, otherwise they do not. However, research has also challenged the privacy calculus because individuals also disclose information even in light of low benefits and high privacy risks. Given explanations refer to 1) altering the perceptions of benefits and privacy risks or 2) altering the effect of benefits and privacy risks on disclosure. Whereas studies focusing on the first part have provided explanations for why the privacy calculus is sometimes not confirmed, studies on the second part do not do so. This study is therefore considering the second part and is integrating an individual’s level of resignation to protect one’s privacy in the context of social networking sites. We consider resignation as a reaction of individuals to given privacy threats. Results show that when including resignation the effect of benefits becomes stronger and the effect of privacy risks becomes weaker. Implications for theory include that resignation helps in explaining why individuals disclose information even when only small benefits and high privacy risks are present.

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