A Conjoint Analysis of Online Information Privacy Concerns: A case in Korea

온라인 프라이버시 침해 우려에 관한 컨조인트 분석 : 한국에서의 사례

  • 최미영 (중소기업기술정보진흥원 경영개선부) ;
  • 이상용 (한양대학교 경영대학)
  • Published : 2008.09.30


The rapid growth of the Internet has increased the amount of transmission of personally identifiable information. At the same time, with new Internet related technologies, organizations are trying to collect and access more personal information than before, which in turn makes individuals concern more about their information privacy. For their successful businesses, organizations have tried to alleviate these concerns in two ways: (1) by offering privacy policies that promise certain level of privacy protection; (2) by offering benefits such as financial gains or convenience. In this paper, we interpret these actions in the context of the information processing theory of motivation. This paper follows Hann et al.(2007)'s methods to analyze Internet users privacy concerns in Korea and tries to compare the findings. Our research objectives are as follows: First, we analyze privacy concern mitigation strategies in the framework of the expectancy theory of motivation. Subsequently, we show how the expectancy theory based framework is linked o the conjoint analysis. We empirically validate the predictions that the means to mitigate privacy concerns are associated with positive valences resulting in an increase in motivational score. In order to accommodate real-life contexts, we investigate these means in trade-off situation, where an organization may only be able to offer partially complete privacy protection and/or promotions and/or convenience, While privacy protection (secondary use, improper access) are associated with positive valences, we also find that financial gains can significantly increase the individuals' motivational score of a website in Korea. One important implication of this empirical analysis is that organizations may possess means to actively manage the privacy concerns of Internet users. Our findings show that privacy policies are valued by users in Korea just as in the US or Singapore. Hence, organizations can capitalize on this, by stating their privacy policy more prominently. Also organizations would better think of strategies or means that may increase online users' willingness to provide personal information. Since financial incentives also significantly increase the individuals' motivational score of website participation, we can quantify the value of website privacy protection in terms of monetary gains. We find that Korean Internet users value the total privacy protection (protection against errors, improper access, and secondary use of personal information) as worthy as KW 25,550, which is about US 28. Having done this conjoint analysis, we next adopt cluster analysis methodology. We identify two distinct segments of Korea's internet users-privacy guardians and information sellers, and convenience seekers. The immediate implication of our study is that firms with online presence must differentiate their services to serve these distinct segments to best meet the needs of segments with differing trade-offs between money and privacy concerns. Information sellers are distinguished from privacy guardians by prior experience of information provision, To the extent that businesses cannot observe an individual's prior experience, they must use indirect methods to induce segmentation by self-selection as suggested in classic economics literature of price discrimination, Businesses could use monetary rewards to attract information sellers to provide personal information. One step forward from the societal trends that emphasize the need of legal protection of information privacy, our study wants to encourage organizations and related authorities to have the viewpoints to consider both importance of privacy protection and the necessity of information trade for the growth of e-commerce.


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