Disclosure of personal data and expected counterparties in e-commerce: a typological and intercultural approach


  • Caroline LANCELOT MILTGEN Université d’Angers, GRANEM




Privacy, personal data, cluster analysis, benefits, Internet


Consumer data is a major source of value for companies. However, on the Internet, the collection of this data is increasingly difficult due to rising consumer concerns about respect for their privacy. The objective of this research is to propose a typology of Net surfers according to the advantages they seek in exchange of their personal data. This is different from previous work which mainly focuses on privacy concerns to establish cluster analysis. The results of our survey, based on 2014 French internet users and 1258 English web surfers, indicate four different groups in both countries: reticent, unconcerned, negotiator, well-intended. The two intermediate groups (unconcerned and negotiator) differ according to the way the individuals focus their attention (security verses utility). This is both theoretically original and constitutes a valuable insight for managers should they wish to apply nuance and respect for the different concerns of Internet users when considering their approach to e-commerce. The comparison between the French and English samples underlines the similar attitudes and different behaviours between two populations belonging to the same Continent, with different cultures. Our findings show that young English people have more concerns about privacy than French people, resulting in greater perceived risks about data disclosure. Beyond a theoretical understanding of issues related to privacy, our results support the contextual nature of the ‘Internet and privacy’ and offer the possibility of an ethical debate around the issue of personal data ownership.

Author Biography

Caroline LANCELOT MILTGEN, Université d’Angers, GRANEM

Caroline LANCELOT MILTGEN est maître de conférences en sciences de gestion dans le groupe de recherche Angevin en économie et management de Université d’Angers. Prix de thèse FNEGE AFM 2007 et mention spéciale du Prix de thèse « Informatique et Liberté » CNIL 2010 pour sa thèse sur les réactions des consommateurs face à la collecte de données personnelles. Responsable scientifique de deux contrats de recherche pour la Commission Européenne sur « vie privée et systèmes d’identification électronique » (2008) et « vie privée et management de données personnelles » (2010). Responsable d’un master en « Management et Sécurité des Systèmes d’information de Santé ».





Empirical research