Track 2: Technology & Society
Rom Schrift (Indiana University)

2C. Consumer Privacy

Friday, March 4
2:00pm – 3:30pm EST
Discussant: Donna Hoffman (George Washington University)
MC: Yanmei Zheng (University of Hawaii)
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Student Coordinator: Jeffrey Kang (Cornell University) (

Competitive Papers

Just Between You and Me: Private Financial Transactions Signal Communal Traits and Enhance Others’ Willingness to Cooperate
Authors: Lennay Chapman (Baruch College, CUNY), Ana Valenzuela (Baruch College (CUNY) and at ESADE-Ramon Llul, Barcelona), Kathleen Vohs (University of Minnesota)
Presenting Author: Lennay Chapman (Baruch College, CUNY)
Online platforms give consumers the ability to execute payments in either a private or public manner. Thus, one consumer’s decision regarding the privacy of an interaction may have the ability to expose a fellow consumer's personal information. Consumers make such decisions commonly, yet the implications of influencing another consumer’s privacy are not well understood. Under the premise that consumers want to have control over their own private information, particularly when it comes to money, the current work identifies downstream social benefits – namely, enhanced cooperation – of decisions about whether to expose others’ financial information. The enhanced willingness to cooperate is due to the perception that consumers who preserve others’ privacy have relatively stronger moral traits. Additionally, consumers use privacy behaviors to signal their own moral traits, understanding that this may encourage others to cooperate. Seven experimental studies, conducted in both Spain and the United States, support these propositions.
Authors: Koustuv Saha (Microsoft), Yozen Liu (Snap Inc.), Nicholas Vincent (Northwestern University), Farhan Asif Chowdhury (University of New Mexico), Leonardo Neves (Snap Inc.), Neil Shah (Snap Inc.), Maarten Bos (Snap Inc.)
Presenting Author: Maarten Bos (Snap Inc.)
Ads deliver revenue for online platforms, but ad exposure affects user experience. Balancing ads with other content is imperative. Currently, ad allocation relies primarily on demographics and inferred user interests, which are treated as static features and can be privacy-intrusive. Our research uses person-centric and momentary context features to understand optimal ad-timing. In a quasi-experimental study on a three-month longitudinal dataset of 100K Snapchat users, we find that ad timing influences ad effectiveness. We simulate ad reallocation, finding that our study-driven insights lead to greater value for the platform. We discuss privacy-preserving components and ethical implications of our work.
Unfair Value Allocation: The Role of Data Ownership in Private Information Disclosure
Authors: Jia Chen (University of Illinois at Chicago), David Gal (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Presenting Author: Jia Chen (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Consumer privacy is an issue of increasing public concern. Prior research has tended to view consumer privacy in terms of personal data exposure (and the potential harms thereof, such as identity theft or embarrassment). However, the present research proposes that consumers’ concerns over disclosing their private information reflect not only data exposure concerns, but also concerns over data ownership (i.e., the ownership of the value created from their private information). We find convergent support across six preregistered experiments that consumers express greater concerns over disclosure of their information when they perceive that they are not receiving the fair value of their private information in exchange. This research contributes to the privacy literature by identifying a relatively understudied aspect of consumer privacy concerns, offers practical implications for firms on managing users’ data, and calls attention to users’ data ownership from the legal perspective.
"Not Having Enough" Could Help Save Your Personal Information: Resource Scarcity and Privacy Behavior
Authors: Arani Roy (McGill University), Ashesh Mukherjee (McGill University)
Presenting Author: Arani Roy (McGill University)
Consumers often experience lack of resources such as money, water, or food. We explore how experiencing such resource scarcity could impact individual’s online practices, specifically, their online information-disclosure behavior. Across four experiments, we propose that resource scarcity leads to reduced willingness to share personal information. We further explain how perceived threat mediates the effect. In the process, we contribute to the privacy literature by finding a novel antecedent to information-disclosure behavior namely, resource scarcity. Also, our findings imply that an unwanted self-discrepant feeling could lead to consumer welfare, in the form of protection from data-misuse.

Flash Talks

Using Virtual Reality: A Hedonic-Utilitarian Asymmetry
Authors: Ruoou Li (University of South Carolina), Rafay Siddiqui (Santa Clara University), Ashwani Monga (Rutgers University)
Presenting Author: Ruoou Li (University of South Carolina)
While marketers commonly use Virtual Reality (VR) as a medium to advertise real experiences to consumers, we find that using VR may induce more patience for the advertised experience. Specifically, the telepresence associated with VR makes consumers feel as if they have already consumed part of the real experience, which makes it difficult to justify consuming the real experience soon after. Consequently, consumers exhibit more patience for an experience after having sampled it through VR (vs. regular video), but only when the experience is hedonic (i.e., when it needs justification) rather than utilitarian (i.e., when it does not need justification).
Does Intent Matter? A New Information Privacy Dimension
Authors: Michael Pecoy (University of Iowa), Chelsea Galoni (University of Iowa)
Presenting Author: Michael Pecoy (University of Iowa)
Whether it's using Apple Maps for directions, searching Google for information, or watching Netflix for entertainment, consumers are constantly sharing personal information to large corporations whether they realize it or not. Information privacy is important to consumers, and should be ensured, when giving data to these tech firms.  Information privacy is closely related, but not identical, to control over personal information. Hence, (lack of) control over personal information is insufficient in explaining (violations of) information privacy. The information recipient's (e.g. Google) intent also influences feelings that one's information privacy has been invaded or violated. Intent to use the consumer's data for the consumer's benefit (e.g. improve user experience) is less detrimental to information privacy than using it for commercial intent (e.g. sponsored ads). We present 1 study supporting intent as an underlying variable of information privacy.


The Constructed Value of Personal Information
Authors: Kyle Murray (University of Alberta), Tim Derksen (University of Alberta)
Presenting Author: Tim Derksen (University of Alberta)
Consumers often trade their information for access to services. We find that consumers construct the value of their information dependent upon the method of elicitation. The value of personal information is mediated by the negative affect generated in consumers through the elicitation method. The effect is amplified by a data breach but nullified when consumers consider their data as a whole.
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