Information Privacy: Culture, Legislation and User Attitudes

Sophie Cockcroft

Abstract


Information privacy has received much public and research interest in recent years. Globally this has arisen from public anxiety following the September 11 attacks and within Australia a progressive tightening of privacy legislation in particular the privacy amendment (private sector) Act of 2000 which became operative in 2001. This paper presents the results of a study into attitudes towards information privacy. Based on an instrument developed and validated by Smith et al (1996a) this study sets out to measure individual concerns regarding organisational use of information along four dimensions: collection, errors, unauthorised secondary use, and improper access. The survey was completed by 67 undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in an e-commerce security subject at the University of Queensland. Comparisons are drawn between the results of this study and an identical one carried out at the University of North Alabama. Whilst it is too early to draw conclusions about the impact of these attitudes on the success of e-commerce in general, the results should be of interest to those within universities seeking to expand the use of networking technologies for handling sensitive information such as enrolment and fee processing (Vanscoy & Oakleaf 2003)

Keywords


privacy; culture; legislation; Australia; Queensland; United States of America; USA; Alabama; survey

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v14i1.7

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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