Balancing the commitment to sustainability and the protection of personal privacy: Consumer adoption of sustainable smart-connected cars

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Sustainable, smart connected cars (SSCCs) are one of the representative sustainable products that leverage smart technologies (e.g., the internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data). Although many studies have investigated consumers’ purchase decisions regarding sustainable products, little research has addressed SSCCs and the relationship between privacy, disclosure intentions, and purchase intentions in SSCCs. These relationships are important because the use of smart technology products requires large volumes of consumers’ personal information, which can lead to severe privacy issues when adopting SSCCs. Accordingly, consumers’ preferences for features of sustainable products could conflict with their privacy concerns when they disclose personal information. Thus, we investigate the relationship between the several benefits of SSCCs and privacy-related decisions when purchasing SSCCs. We propose an extended privacy trade-off model based on three critical assumptions: two types of privacy trade-offs, bidirectional privacy reduction, and anchoring effects. We also investigate the effects of government subsidies for purchasing SSCCs regarding the relationship between governments, companies, and consumers. To validate our model, we test the effects of interaction between privacy concerns and the benefits of SSCCs on disclosure intentions and purchase intentions. Our repeated tests for the various benefits of SSCCs demonstrate the robustness of the model. Our results indicate that when consumers consider purchasing SSCCs, sustainability plays the role of the common good in trading for privacy concerns. In addition, government subsidies to encourage companies’ sustainable products increase disclosure intentions and purchase intentions. We conclude that the status of sustainability as a common goal among governments, companies, and consumers represents an opportunity to balance the privacy tensions in the sale and purchase of SSCCs.

3503 Business systems in context, 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour, 4609 Information systems