Contextualizing privacy concerns within mobile engagement : a comparative investigation of escalating risk among general, e-commerce and health-related use
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New marketing paradigms constructed around capabilities for data collection, dissemination and analysis offer conveniences and benefits to consumers but also pose actual and perceived threats to privacy. As advertisers increasingly rely on individuals’ personal data captured from mobile devices, consumer perceptions and acceptance of advertising personalization practices become of critical importance and interest to communications scholars, practitioners and policymakers. New data streams, especially those generated by mobile devices, wearable technologies and mobile health and fitness tracking applications, offer unparalleled opportunity for behavioral targeting and personalization services. At the same time, sensitive personal information will support companies’ overall market goals by attracting and retaining consumers that view mobile advertising as value rather than annoyance or threat. Consumer adoption and attitudes toward mobile advertising compared with the practical application of different models in respective markets offers valuable insight into what practices are favored and welcomed by consumers and most likely to promote the growth of the mobile advertising industry. Utilizing the theoretical foundations of communication privacy management (CPM), the current study investigates dimensions of consumers’ information privacy concerns such as collection, control, awareness, unauthorized secondary use, improper access and location tracking to predict user engagement in generalized mobile activities, mobile commerce activities, and mobile health and fitness tracking activities. Data from this study indicate that privacy concerns are significant predictors of mobile engagement in contexts where information is perceived to be more sensitive to users. Moreover, this research suggests that across mobile activities, the privacy dimensions of unauthorized access and location tracking most significantly influence use.