Trust and internet Privacy Concerns of Cockcroft
Other than discerning technology as an essential factor in the formation of online trust, the objective of this paper is to relate other determinants with technology in gaining online trust. We will focus on social and cultural determinants in order to achieve this goal. Social and cultural norms, as part of the society’s characteristics have significant effects on how the consumer behaves. Social norms, as a way of living for individuals challenge the formation of online trust.
Cockcroft (2005) in her empirical research regarding national culture, trust and internet privacy had presented a model in which the influence of social culture is shown. The research model she proposed shows how online trust is influenced with national culture among other concerns. Trust, defined in the research, includes belief of integrity, benevolence, ability and predictability (Cockcroft, 2005). In the study, several determinants were evaluated. For the purpose of the essay, we will evaluate the effects of demographic factors and cultural dimensions the study had provided.
In the proposed research model, the demographic factors and cultural dimensions affects the personal dispositions of consumer in the formation of online trust in the e-commerce business. As mentioned in the study, younger Internet users have more awareness regarding safety concerns with regards to privacy (Gauzente, 2004). The empirical studies from Milberg (1995) also concluded that females tend to be more concerned with privacy issues in the Internet than males. The following conclusions are just some of the conclusions provided by different sources. The conclusion of Gauzente (2004) is evident just by observing other people.
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We know how younger people are the major Internet users in modern times. They learn many things through the Internet and thus greatly know the threat of Internet’s use although they do not practice the idea. Although the awareness is there, many online crimes also happen because of the younger Internet users’ inability to detect criminal acts and prevents them. It is safe to say that although they are greatly aware of the risk, as major targeted consumers in e-commerce, the trust they had developed blinds them in seeing the consequence. Another reason is that younger Internet users are the major clients of e-commerce firms.
Cockcroft (2005) proposed several determinants in the formation of online trust with the influence of social and cultural norms and the society in general. There are six main factors shown in the proposed research model by Cockcroft. Power distance is defined as the characteristic of hierarchy of authority, power, knowledge, responsibility, and the restricted exchange of knowledge (House et al. , 2004). Uncertainty Avoidance is another determinant in the study in which society relies on social norms and procedures to be sure of future events (Cockcroft, 2005).
Performance orientation defines a society which values training and development of individuals. Future orientation defines a society’s concern of future matters. Kluckhon and Strodtbeck (1962) had mentioned in their study that society have great regards for their past, present and future state. Gender egalitarianism is defined as differences in gender. A society that has high level of gender difference tends to be unequal with the members of the society. “Men are seen as independent individuals, while women are perceived to be more intimate and more concerned of privacy concerns”- Cockcroft (2005).
This supports the conclusion of Milberg (1995), which proves that females are more concerned with privacy issues. Privacy is the last determinant discussed by Cockcroft (2005). It was mentioned that there is a negative relationship between Internet Users’ Information Privacy Concerns (IUIPC) and the degree of trust of the individual with online transactions. In several studies used to determine social and cultural norms in the society as effectors of online trust, Cockcroft (2005) concluded that the most significant determinant in social and cultural norms effects is the group collectivism trait.
Individuals that are characterized with a high level of group collectivism are said to be less concerned with privacy issues and allow sharing of information through the Internet. But I would have to say that power distance and uncertainty avoidance are the determinants to be considered. The society, after the threat of terrorism and the rapid advancement of technology had realized that privacy concerns should be given much priority. E-commerce can be regarded as one of the efficient channels to do criminal acts. Online trust therefore, would be the hardest thing to develop at this time in this modernized country.