Disclosure Intention of Location-Related Information in Location-Based Social Network Services

Ling Zhao, Yaobin Lu, and Sumeet Gupta
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 16 Number 4, Summer 2012, p. 53.

Abstract: Although location-based social network (LBSN) services have developed rapidly in recent years, the reasons why people disclose location-related information under this environment have not been adequately investigated. This study builds a privacy calculus model to investigate the factors that influence LBSN users’ intention to disclose location-related information in China. In addition, this study applies justice theory to investigate the role of privacy intervention approaches used by LBSN Web sites in enhancing users’ perception of justice, including incentives provision, interaction promotion, privacy control, and privacy policy. Model testing using structural equation modeling reveals that perceived cost (users’ privacy concerns) and perceived benefits (personalization and connectedness) influence intention to disclose location-related information. Meanwhile, providing incentives and promoting interaction enhance, respectively, personalization and connectedness. Privacy control and privacy policies both help in reducing privacy concerns. We also find that individuals’ awareness of Internet privacy legislation negatively influences privacy concerns, whereas previous privacy invasions do not. Finally, we find that personal innovativeness significantly influences intention to disclose location-related information. This study not only extends the privacy research on social networking sites under mobile environments but also provides practical implications for service providers and policy makers to develop better LBSNs.

Key Words and Phrases: Location-based e-commerce, location-based social network, location-related information disclosure, privacy, privacy calculus.