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UAM Research Symposium Yields Results about Data Privacy Concerns

December 6th, 2022 by
UAMMarketing

Left to Right: Dr. Britton Leggett, Lawrence Adetunji, Elizabeth Gill, Hannah Holdbrook, and Hunter Selvey

Marketing research students at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) entered a Student Research Symposium hosted by the UAM Department of Social Work. The group submitted a poster titled “Student Perceptions of Big Data, Privacy Concerns, and Data Disclosure” that won the People’s Choice award.

The marketing study surveyed students at UAM to access if their awareness of big data, as well as data disclosure, influenced their privacy concerns. Through the research, respondents indicated that perceived vulnerability positively influenced privacy concerns, and privacy concerns positively influenced self-disclosure concerns among the students surveyed. If people think their information is vulnerable on a website, their privacy concerns go up leading to an increase in their self-disclosure concerns. 

The research students surveyed Generation Z with the average age of the students surveyed being 22 years old. The students surveyed ranked their preferences in social media platforms in this order: Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Forty-six percent of the respondents admitted to using social media platforms up to three hours per day while thirty-four percent indicated up to five hours of daily usage. Clearly, this generation enjoys staying connected with friends and family online.

Students’ awareness of big data and big data’s implications did not influence their privacy concerns. Accepting that their data are collected did not diminish their privacy concerns. These digital natives, not knowing a time without internet access, are more likely to sacrifice private data online despite their concerns. Trading privacy for connectivity, data disclosure has become common for this age group. Due to the popularity of social media and e-commerce, most people have accepted this trade-off and will likely continue to do so in this ever-increasing digital world. Data disclosure has become the norm.

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