Rifqi Munif Imanullah
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
By the 21st century, research has shown that the use of online platforms is often pervasively characterized by a phenomenon called the privacy paradox. The privacy paradox is a dichotomy between a person’s claim to advocate the protection of their online privacy while showing behavior and tendencies that show otherwise. Prior studies have often focused on intentions rather than behavior while this study tests the privacy paradox behavior in extreme circumstances. This research focuses on actual behavior and eliminates the effect of a lack of technical knowledge, privacy awareness, and financial resources. An experiment was conducted that observed technical savvy students on their tendencies to the usage of a mobile phone app. The researchers provided the students with sufficient money to download and buy a paid-for app. The findings suggest that technically skilled individuals and those with relatively high financial resources are still susceptible to the privacy paradox behavior despite the awareness of potential risks. Since technical knowledge and financial independence did not have much of an effect on the privacy paradox, functionality, app design, and costs appear to be the variables that outweigh privacy concerns. Although the study managed to generate some valuable insights, there are also a few limitations that can be taken into account for future research. Firstly, the sample size of the study was rather small. There were 66 participants who completed the first questionnaire but only 39 participants took part in all parts of the study. Furthermore, the participants were only required to use the app for one week which does not depict real-life situations where people use mobile phone apps for considerably longer. All in all, this study can indeed confirm that despite having a good technical background and financial independence, individuals are still easily influenced by the privacy paradox behavior.
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