International Differences in Information Privacy Concern: Implications For the Globalization of Electronic Commerce

Steven Bellman, University of Western Australia
Eric J. Johnson, Columbia University
Stephen J. Kobrin, University of Pennsylvania
Gerald L. Lohse, Accenture
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Differences in information privacy concern in relation to the Internet have been found in national probability samples of consumers from the U.S., the UK, and Germany (IBM 1999). International differences in regulation of information privacy (e.g., the European Data Privacy Directive: EU 1995) are supposed to reflect these concerns. In this study, we examine three possible explanations for these different forms of Internet regulation: (1) these differences reflect and are related to differences in cultural values (Hofstede 1980, 1991; Milberg, Burke, Smith, and Kallman 1995); (2) these differences reflect differences in Internet experience and/or familiarity with Web privacy practices; and (3) they reflect differences in the desires of political institutions without reflecting underlying differences in privacy preferences. We surveyed Internet-using consumers from 38 countries and controlled for differences in demographics (Poortinga and Malpass 1986) to isolate the effects of cultural values, government regulation, Internet experience and knowledge of Web privacy practices, on concern for information privacy on the Net. We find support for (1), that cultural values are associated with differences in privacy preferences, which in turn are reflected in government regulation.
[ to cite ]:
Steven Bellman, Eric J. Johnson, Stephen J. Kobrin, and Gerald L. Lohse (2004) ,"International Differences in Information Privacy Concern: Implications For the Globalization of Electronic Commerce", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 362-363.