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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Measuring online consumer perceptions of fair information practices Liao, Jiawei


The expansion of e-commerce has made consumer privacy issues more salient and pressing. Previous studies of online commerce have indicated that limited confidence in privacy protection has been a major problem impeding the growth of e-commerce. The United States Federal Trade Commission developed the Fair Information Practice Principles in its 1998 report to congress to ensure that the collection and use of personal information is conducted fairly, and to provide sufficient privacy protection for consumers. The Federal Trade Commission's core principles are notice, choice, access, and security. The purpose of this study is to develop an instrument to measure the degree to which online entities adhere to fair information practice principles, from the perspective of consumers. The instrument development process included three stages: item creation, card sorting, and instrument testing. First, we generated 25 items based on the definitions of the four fair information principles. Then, we asked eight judges to sort the items into various categories, and according to the card sorting results, we deleted some poor items from the scales. Finally, we conducted an online survey to test the instrument. We applied factor analysis and other validity and reliability analyses to the survey data, resulting a validated 23-item, five-scale instrument. This instrument can be used to evaluate the privacy protection practices of online entities, and to judge from the consumers' perspective if these practices are fair and provide sufficient protection.

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