News from the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society

NEW ARTICLE ON PRIVACY IN THE SHARING ECONOMY

26th June 2017 - News by Christoph Lutz

Christoph Lutz, Christian Fieseler, and Eliane Bucher (all NCIS), together with Christian Hoffmann from the University of Leipzig, recently published their paper “The Role of Privacy Concerns in the Sharing Economy” in the prestigious journal Information, Communication & Society (2016 Impact Factor of 2.692, Google Scholar h-index of 42, placing it number 8 in all Social Sciences - general - journals). The article looks at how users' online and offline privacy concerns, their trust in the sharing platform, and the perceived benefits of sharing affect their sharing frequency in a home sharing context. To answer these questions, the authors conducted a survey among 374 US-based Airbnb hosts.

The findings indicate that privacy concerns - neither online nor offline - have no significant effect on the respondents' sharing frequency, a finding the authors call the sharing paradox. This is in line with previous research on social media and online shopping, which has found a privacy paradox, as a divergence of privacy attitudes and behavior when it comes to using Internet-enabled services. The authors further find that the perceived monetary and social benefits of sharing, trust in the platform and the social environment (i.e., a sharing-friendly environment) all foster users' sharing frequency. The findings have implications for theory and practice. 

The article can be found here