What consumers know and what they do: An investigation of consumer knowledge, awareness, and use of privacy protection strategies



This study examines consumer knowledge of privacy-related laws and practices, and consumer awareness and use of strategies that may protect the consumer's privacy. Consumers were found to have very little knowledge of direct marketing practices and regulations. While consumers were fairly well informed on privacy-protection strategies, their use of these strategies was quite low.

This study also investigates whether several consumer traits, namely gender, age, telephone number listing status, and desire to receive direct marketing solicitations, had any relationship to the consumer's awareness and use of privacy-protection strategies. It was found that males and young people were more likely than their counterparts to be aware of privacy-protection strategies. Those most likely to use privacy-protection strategies were young people and people who disliked receiving direct marketing solicitations. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc.