Privacy concerns and identity in online social networks

Krasnova, Hanna; Günther, Oliver; Spiekerman, Sarah; Koroleva, Ksenia (2009). Privacy concerns and identity in online social networks. Identity in the Information Society Journal, 2(1), pp. 39-63. Springer Netherlands 10.1007/s12394-009-0019-1

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Driven by privacy-related fears, users of Online Social Networks may start to reduce their network activities. This trend can have a negative impact on network sustainability and its business value. Nevertheless, very little is understood about the privacy-related concerns of users and the impact of those concerns on identity performance. To close this gap, we take a systematic view of user privacy concerns on such platforms. Based on insights from focus groups and an empirical study with 210 subjects, we find that (i) Organizational Threats and (ii) Social Threats stemming from the user environment constitute two underlying dimensions of the construct “Privacy Concerns in Online Social Networks”. Using a Structural Equation Model, we examine the impact of the identified dimensions of concern on the Amount, Honesty, and Conscious Control of individual self-disclosure on these sites. We find that users tend to reduce the Amount of information disclosed as a response to their concerns regarding Organizational Threats. Additionally, users become more conscious about the information they reveal as a result of Social Threats. Network providers may want to develop specific mechanisms to alleviate identified user concerns and thereby ensure network sustainability.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems > Information Management

UniBE Contributor:

Krasnova, Hanna


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Springer Netherlands


[392] The Value of Privacy on Social Media




Rahel Winkelmann

Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2014 13:29

Last Modified:

21 Jul 2015 11:34

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Online social networks, Privacy concerns, Measures, Identity, Structural equation modeling




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