Information privacy behavior in the use of Facebook apps: A personality-based vulnerability assessment

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The unauthorized use of personal information belonging to users of apps integrated with the Facebook platform affects millions of users. Crucially, although privacy concerns and awareness have increased, the use of these apps, and related privacy behaviors, remain largely unchanged. Given that such privacy behaviors are likely influenced by individuals' personality traits, it is imperative to better understand which personality traits make individuals more vulnerable to such unauthorized uses. We build on a recontextualized version of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to evaluate the influence of the Big Five personality traits on attitudes toward Facebook privacy settings, social norms, and information privacy concerns (IPCs)—all within the context of Facebook app use. To evaluate this study's model, we analyzed 576 survey responses by way of partial least squares path modeling. Results indicate that highly extraverted individuals are particularly vulnerable to privacy violations (e.g., unauthorized use of personal information) because of their negative attitudes toward Facebook privacy settings. Our post hoc analysis uncovered interesting combinations of personality traits that make individuals particularly vulnerable to the unauthorized use of app-based information. In particular, the combination of extraversion and conscientiousness had a negative effect on individuals' attitude toward privacy settings. We also found a significant negative relationship between IPCs and intention to use Facebook apps. Finally, we found a positive relationship between social norms and intentions. Taken together, these results infer that individuals are likely to be influenced by their peers in the use of Facebook apps but that their intentions to use these apps declines as privacy concerns increase.



Facebook apps, Facebook privacy settings, Information privacy concerns (IPCs), Interaction analysis, Path modeling, Personality traits, Vulnerability