Data Privacy on Digital Platforms: EU Citizens' Protective Behaviour and Privacy Concerns

Mette Bjerring Petersen & Sofia Boskovic

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the wave of increasing global scandals of data misuse by big data companies, the debate about data privacy has received enormous public attention. As a result, consumers demand more control over their data for the sake of staying private online.
This thesis sought to explain how EU citizens’ demand for strengthened data privacy correlates to their behaviour of protecting their data on digital platforms. Theories point towards trust, risk and convenience as having crucial impact on the degree to which consumers protect their privacy. The research approach for this study included Mixed Methods consisting of semi-structured expert interviews and a quantitative consumer survey regarding digital platforms and privacy concerns, for the purpose of uncovering he parameters and their influence on consumers’ behaviour.
From the findings of the survey, we were able to confirm that the parameters of trust, risk and convenience influence the consumers’ data protection behaviour.
Additionally, the findings pointed towards a fourth influencer namely the consumers’ level of awareness. However, as awareness plays a key role in understanding the complexity around data and how to stay private, we found it important to discuss whether or not consumers are equipped for the responsibility that has been placed upon them. This lead to specific recommendations for altering the GDPR and the current initiatives for data privacy, in order to meet the consumers’ wish for more control.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages118
SupervisorsManuele Citi