Facilitating Global E-Commerce: A Comparison Of Consumers’ Willingness To Disclose Personal Information Online In The U.S. And In India


Babita Gupta
Lakshmi S. Iyer
Robert S. Weisskirch


Consumers’ privacy and security concerns are magnified as companies rely on worldwide networks for electronic commerce. Global businesses that can persuade consumers to disclose their personal information online are more likely to provide better service and product delivery. In this research, we conducted an empirical study of 809 consumers in the U.S. and India to investigate their online information disclosing behavior and their intentions to take and execute protective measures during online interactions. Results suggest that there are significant differences between American and Indian consumers with regards to their willingness to disclose personal information (WDPI), and their intentions and actions for privacy and security protection. We find that Indian consumers are more willing to disclose potentially sensitive personal information, and U.S. consumers intend to and engage in higher passive privacy protection actions compared to Indians. Thus, cultural differences influence consumers’ WDPI and their online privacy protection behavior. These findings have implications for companies to consider cultural differences when conducting global e-commerce, indicating a need for a localization approach.

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February, 2010

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