Using the attribution Theory, the study examines the relative trust loss in a hacking versus unauthorized information sharing by a Website. An experiment was conducted in which the respondents were asked to view a website and answer questions related to their trust, at two different phases both before and after reading the news scenario. The results of the study show that users experience significantly higher degree of trust drop when the website intentionally and unethically share the user data with other companies for data mining or other unauthorized purposes as opposed to information hacking by unknown hackers. The findings suggest that there is more to privacy than just exposure. Both the scenarios entailed exposure of the same number of user accounts, still the trust lost was greater for unauthorized sharing instead of hacking. It suggests that privacy is important, no doubt, however, the way it is lost, is important as well.
Bansal, Gaurav; Hansen, Ellyn; and Chen, Lijun, "Not All Privacy Losses Cost the Same: Examining the Relative Perceived Trust Violation in a Hacking Versus Unauthorized Information Sharing Scenario" (2012). MWAIS 2012 Proceedings. 1.