Do U.S. Consumers Want More Power over their Personal Data? A Preliminary Study on Consumer Data Right Preferences: An Abstract
In the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal (New York Times 2018) and the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (European Commission 2018), the need to understand U.S. consumers’ attitudes toward online retailers and current privacy regulations is warrant. Adopting Bandura’s social cognitive theory Westin’s privacy segment index, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the importance of consumer data rights implemented by the European Union and how right preferences differ among privacy groups. Moreover, how brand trust correlates with the different rights given to consumers under the new GDPR regulation. A total of 200 responses were collected using the Amazon MTurk platform to administer an online questionnaire that was developed in Qualtrics.
The results showed that, for the privacy fundamentalist group (43.5%), they preferred the right to be forgotten and the right to object. For the privacy unconcerned group (22.5%), as expected, there were no significant relationships with any consumer data rights. For privacy pragmatists (33.5%), they preferred the right to request that decisions based on automated processing concerning their data be made by natural persons, not just computers. There was also a positive relationship found between brand trust and the right to correct any incorrect, inaccurate, or incomplete personal data that a retailer has stored on them. The results indicate that the higher the consumer’s brand trust, the more likely the consumer will want the right to correct their personal data that a retailer has collected about them.
For theoretical implications, the study findings will add empirical evidence in the body of Westin’s consumer privacy-segment groups study and extending Bandura’s social cognitive theory in the context of business-consumer relationships. Moreover, understanding consumer sentiment towards what consumer data rights they would like to exercise, this study sheds light on U.S. federal privacy policies.