Personal data of internet users are a sought after commodity nowadays. When asked, users are concerned about the security of their data. However, usage data from social networks or sales figures for online shopping raise doubts. This inconsistency is called the privacy paradox and requires research to record real behaviour.
The aim of the PhD project was to develop a study design for the empirical recording of realistic behaviour in order to protect personal data in the context of online shopping.
A definition of the construct of actual data protection behaviour in online shopping was developed and operationalised with the aid of an expert survey. Eight of the most important indicators that users can find on the pages of a web shop are essential in order to understand how personal data is handled. The examination and validation of a working model with regard to potential influencing variables took place within the framework of an exploration study and a validation study with the same study design.
An essential result is the developed test concept for the recording of actual data protection behaviour. Within this framework, the age of the participants could be proven as a significant predictor. The non-significant connection between the surveyed probability of behaviour and the corresponding actual behaviour is in line with the findings on the privacy paradox and proves that the intention in the context of data protection is not an accurate predictor of behaviour. This confirms the need to empirically record real behaviour for further research in this context.
Pfeiffer, T., Theuerling, H., & Kauer, M. (2013). Click me if you can! – How do users decide whether to follow a call to action in an online message? In: Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy, and Trust, 27.-26. Juli 2013, Las Vegas, NV, USA.