Internet users’ intention to give inaccurate personal data online: an exploratory study



The rise of consumer data-gathering requests has each day forced more consumers to adopt privacy protection strategies, and more specifically since the arrival of the Internet. Some people choose not to answer the requests; others sometimes prefer to provide inaccurate data. Why do some individuals choose to lie? In spite of academic and managerial interest, there is little if no answer to this question. This research contributes to fill this gap by studying the propensity of Net surfers 1) to answer a request for on line personal data and 2) to (or not to) provide untrue data. Three categories of antecedents - individual, beliefs and situational - to both behaviors are identified and integrated within the model. So as to test it, 252 Net surfers panelists were subjected to an experimental process consisting in filling out a form with more or less sensitive data. Our results come to enrich and/or confirm the literature in a French context. The perceived value in this exchange - seldom introduced into the existing models – influences both the probability of filling out the form and of providing untrue data. We also prove that a request of sensitive data, a strong consumer privacy concern and being a male result in a strong probability of lying. Lastly, the privacy concern would have a moderating role - which the literature does not evoke - on the link between the sensitivity of the form and the intention to answer it. Our results have interesting implications for both the researchers and the organizations wishing to improve their consumer data-gathering procedures. 


Internet;user behaviour;personal data;concern for information privacy;lying

Full Text:

 Subscribers Only


Copyright (c)