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Information Privacy: Measuring Individuals' Concerns about Organizational Practices

H. Jeff Smith, Sandra J. Milberg and Sandra J. Burke
MIS Quarterly
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 167-196
DOI: 10.2307/249477
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/249477
Page Count: 30
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Information Privacy: Measuring Individuals' Concerns about Organizational Practices
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Abstract

Information privacy has been called one of the most important ethical issues of the information age. Public opinion polls show rising levels of concern about privacy among Americans. Against this backdrop, research into issues associated with information privacy is increasing. Based on a number of preliminary studies, it has become apparent that organizational practices, individuals' perceptions of these practices, and societal responses are inextricably linked in many ways. Theories regarding these relationships are slowly emerging. Unfortunately, researchers attempting to examine such relationships through confirmatory empirical approaches may be impeded by the lack of validated instruments for measuring individuals' concerns about organizational information privacy practices. To enable future studies in the information privacy research stream, we developed and validated an instrument that identifies and measures the primary dimensions of individuals' concerns about organizational information privacy practices. The development process included examinations of privacy literature; experience surveys and focus groups; and the use of expert judges. The result was a parsimonious 15-item instrument with four subscales tapping into dimensions of individuals' concerns about organizational information privacy practices. The instrument was rigorously tested and validated across several heterogenous populations, providing a high degree of confidence in the scales' validity, reliability, and generalizability.

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