Promoting i-Safety: Effects of Privacy Warnings and Privacy Seals on Risk Assessment and Online Privacy Behavior



Using social cognitive theory, this study experimentally examines the effects of explicit privacy warnings, a clear, conspicuous, and concise presentation of the benefits and risks associated with database information practices stated in a Web site’s privacy policy. Warnings increased perceptions of the risks associated with information practices and decreased disclosures, but not in the presence of a privacy seal. The effects were also moderated by consumer privacy self-efficacy and involvement with privacy. The results support the development of privacy warnings as a part of consumer privacy self-regulatory efforts and the use of a social cognitive paradigm for understanding consumer privacy behaviors.