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International Differences in Information Privacy Concerns: A Global Survey of Consumers

MediaScience is the leading provider of lab-based media and advertising research, incorporating a range of neuro-measures including biometrics, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, EEG, and more. With state-of-the-art labs in New York, Chicago, and Austin, MediaScience is discovering actionable insights in advertising, technology, media, and consumer trends.

Dr. Duane Varan, the global authority of neuromarketing research, founded Audience Labs (formerly the Interactive Television Research Institute) during his tenure at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, in 2001. In 2005, he launched the Beyond : 30 Project, a consortium exploring the changing media and advertising landscape, and in 2008, he was approached by Disney Media Networks to set up a dedicated custom research lab on a broader scale – and so MediaScience was born. Though he officially left Murdoch in 2015, he continues to maintain some research links with the University of South Australia and has been widely recognised for his innovative contributions to teaching and the neuromarketing industry as evidenced by a long list of awards and over 90 published academic papers in his field.

Below is an abstract from a paper Dr. Varan oversaw about the International Differences in Information Privacy Concerns: A Global Survey of Consumers from The Information Society.

We examine three possible explanations for differences in Internet privacy concerns revealed by national regulation: (1) These differences reflect and are related to differences in cultural values described by other research; (2) these differences reflect differences in Internet experience; or (3) they reflect differences in the desires of political institutions without reflecting underlying differences in privacy preferences. Using a sample of Internet users from 38 countries matched against the Internet population of the United States, we find support for (1) and (2), suggesting the need for localized privacy policies. Privacy concerns decline with Internet experience. Controlling for experience, cultural values were associated with differences in privacy concerns. These cultural differences are mediated by regulatory differences, although new cultural differences emerge when differences in regulation are harmonized. Differences in regulation reflect but also shape country differences. Consumers in countries with sectoral regulation have less desire for more privacy regulation.

Steven Bellman, Eric J. Johnson, Stephen J. Kobrin & Gerald L. Lohse (2004) International Differences in Information Privacy Concerns: A Global Survey of Consumers, The Information Society, 20:5, 313-324, DOI: 10.1080/01972240490507956