Privacy Concerns in Mobile Communication. A User’s Perspective

Delia Cristina BALABAN, Maria MUSTĂȚEA
Privacy Concerns in Mobile Communication. A User’s Perspective
Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
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The massive use of online platforms has contributed to an intensifying flow of collection, usage, and sharing of personal information of users. Technological development allows every form of user interaction to be transformed into data. The use of mobile devices on a large scale has added more dimensions to the online privacy debate. Within the theoretical framework of the protection motivation theory (PMT), our study aimed to analyse the privacy protection behaviour related to mobile communication. The motivation of individuals to protect themselves from threats depends on two aspects: a threat assessment and a coping assessment. We conducted eight group interviews with N=92 German early-stage adults regarding data privacy concerns and coping strategies. The conclusions drawn from our study are that respondents clearly showed a preoccupation with their mobile data protection, but they do not consider information protection in mobile communication as much of a choice. Users are aware that they have certain safety leverages to use in order to protect their data, but they are far more limited than those applied to online communication using computers. Technology is not necessarily friendly to information protective behaviour. Users identified some limited response efficacy measures to take so as to protect their privacy when it comes to app settings.

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