Driven by privacy-related fears, users of Online Social Networks may start to reduce their network activities. This trend can have a negative impact on network sustainability and its business value. Nevertheless, very little is understood about the privacy-related concerns of users and the impact of those concerns on identity performance. To close this gap, we take a systematic view of user privacy concerns on such platforms. Based on insights from focus groups and an empirical study with 210 subjects, we find that (i) Organizational Threats and (ii) Social Threats stemming from the user environment constitute two underlying dimensions of the construct Privacy Concerns in Online Social Networks . Using a Structural Equation Model, we examine the impact of the identified dimensions of concern on the Amount, Honesty, and Conscious Control of individual self-disclosure on these sites. We find that users tend to reduce the Amount of information disclosed as a response to their concerns regarding Organizational Threats. Additionally, users become more conscious about the information they reveal as a result of Social Threats. Network providers may want to develop specific mechanisms to alleviate identified user concerns and thereby ensure network sustainability.
Keywords Online social networks  Privacy concerns  Measures  Identity  Structural equation modeling
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12394-009-0019-1
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,410
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Self-Discrepancy: A Theory Relating Self and Affect.E. Tory Higgins - 1987 - Psychological Review 94 (3):319-340.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Digital Alienation as the Foundation of Online Privacy Concerns.Brandt Dainow - 2015 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 45 (3):109-117.
Social Web and Identity: A Likely Encounter. [REVIEW]Thierry Nabeth - 2009 - Identity in the Information Society 2 (1):1-5.
Impact of Privacy, Trust and User Activity on Intentions to Share Facebook Photos.Aqdas Malik, Kari Hiekkanen, Amandeep Dhir & Marko Nieminen - 2016 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 14 (4):364-382.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Social Web and Identity: A Likely Encounter. [REVIEW]Thierry Nabeth - 2009 - Identity in the Information Society 2 (1):1-5.
Contextual Gaps: Privacy Issues on Facebook.Gordon Hull, Heather Richter Lipford & Celine Latulipe - 2011 - Ethics and Information Technology 13 (4):289-302.
Informational Privacy, Data Mining, and the Internet.Herman T. Tavani - 1999 - Ethics and Information Technology 1 (2):137-145.
Use of Health-Related Online Sites.Amy M. Bovi - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (3):48-52.


Added to PP index

Total views
80 ( #120,635 of 2,368,000 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #365,278 of 2,368,000 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes