With rapid advances in technological development, sensitive behaviors in relation to the ethical use of information systems have attracted more and more public attention. The widespread adoption of high- speed networking technologies has facilitated the timely dissemination of information, but it also opens up more opportunities for the unauthorized sharing of private information. One example is the unauthorized downloading of indecent scandal pictures. This paper reports an exploratory study in this behavior. Although such behavior is sensitive and secretive in nature, we draw on the randomized response technique to ensure respondent confidentiality and minimize response distortion in self- reported behaviors. An on-line survey was conducted and the methods introduced by Kwan, So and Tam (2010) was adopted for multivariate data analysis using the randomized data. Our findings confirm the anticipated underreporting of the sensitive behavior in a direct-questioning context. Furthermore, non-trivial distortions in the influences of the factors leading to the downloading behavior are also unveiled when comparing findings from direct responses with those based on randomized responses.


Randomized Response Technique, Response Distortion, Respondent Confidentiality, Ethics


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper