Internet Privacy Concerns and Social Awareness as Determinants of Intention to Transact

Tamara Dinev and Paul Hart
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 10, Number 2, Winter 2005-06, pp. 7.

Abstract: This study focuses on antecedents to Internet privacy concerns and the behavioral intention to conduct on-line transactions. Perceptions of privacy are socially constructed through communication and transactions with social entities over a networked environment, a process that involves a certain level of technical skill and literacy. The research model specifies that social awareness and Internet literacy are related to both Internet privacy and intention to transact. Survey data collected from 422 respondents were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) with LISREL and provided support for the hypothesized relationships. Social awareness was positively related and Internet literacy was negatively related to Internet privacy concerns. Moreover, Internet privacy concerns were negatively related and Internet literacy positively related to intention to transact on-line. This research explores the two alternative antecedents to Internet privacy concerns and intention to engage in e-commerce activity and contributes to our understanding of Internet privacy and its importance in the global information environment. The construct of social awareness can be broadened to develop a much-needed construct of awareness in MIS research related to the voluntary usage of information technology. A segmentation of Internet users with respect to privacy concerns is also proposed.

Key Words and Phrases: Intention to transact on-line, Internet literacy, Internet privacy, social awareness.