Although collecting personal information about consumers is crucial for firms and marketers, understanding of when and why consumers accept or reject information collection remains limited. The authors conceptualize a privacy calculus that represents a consumer’s trade–off of the valence and uncertainty of the consequences of the collection, storage, and use of personal information. For example, usage-based car insurance requires drivers to share data on their driving behavior in exchange for a discount (certain benefit) but at the risk of third parties intercepting location data for malicious use (uncertain disadvantage). Building on this conceptualization, the authors develop the privacy calculus (PRICAL) index. They empirically confirm the validity of the items (Study 1) and the index as a whole (Study 2). The PRICAL index is generally applicable and improves the explanation of behavioral intentions (Study 2) and actual behavior (Study 3), compared with currently used constructs (e.g., privacy concern, trust). Overall, the PRICAL index allows managers to understand consumers’ acceptance of information collection regarding financial, performance, psychological, security, social, and time-related consequences, which the authors demonstrate using the top five most valuable digital brands (Study 4).
Bibliographical notePublished online: 6 June 2021.
- Privacy calculus
- Information collection
- Index development