Privacy concerns and consumer willingness to provide personal information

The authors examine potential relationships among categories of personal information, beliefs about direct marketing, situational characteristics, specific privacy concerns, and consumers’ direct marketing shopping habits. Furthermore, the authors offer an assessment of the trade-offs consumers are willing to make when they exchange personal information for shopping benefits. The findings indicate that public policy and self-regulatory efforts to alleviate consumer privacy concerns should provide consumers with more control over the initial gathering and subsequent dissemination of personal information. Such efforts must also consider the type of information sought, because consumer concern and willingness to provide marketers with personal data vary dramatically by information type.