Privacy Paradox: Empirical Verification of the Phenomenon

Original scientific paper

Andro Pavuna ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (387 KB) pages 132-162 cite

Privacy paradox is a phenomenon in which people who say they are concerned about their privacy behave as if they weren’t, especially when it comes to social networks and the use of the Internet. The aim of this research was to determine whether individuals who are highly concerned with their privacy exhibit privacy protecting behaviour in an expected manner. To explore the privacy paradox, a privacy concerns scale was developed for this research based on the results of a previous study. To measure behavioural variables, three scales were adapted for application in Croatia, including the social dimension of behavioural control, general caution and technical protection. Participants were also asked some specific questions about their use of Internet and social networks. The survey was conducted using a questionnaire that was given to a convenience sample of 966 participants. The obtained results showed the existence of a privacy paradox on all comparisons at p < 0.001. Despite the fact that 90.7% of the participants stated that their privacy is important or extremely important to them, a large number of participants uses online services from companies whose entire business model is based on the collection, analysis and sharing of user data. 99.3% of participants reported the use of such search engines, 86% the use of such e-mail service, 88% reported using Facebook, while more than 73% of them have their real name, surname and personal photo posted on their profile. The results show that participants declaratively deem their privacy important, but they easily waive it over the use of Internet and social networks which has significant implications for the current debate on privacy and personal data protection in the digital environment.

Privacy; Privacy Paradox; Privacy Concerns; Internet; Social Networks

Hrčak ID: 219878