A survey of consumer information privacy from the accounting information systems perspective

Robert J. Kauffman, Yong J. Lee, Marilyn Prosch, Paul Steinbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The information privacy of consumers is an important public policy issue in today's society, and one that businesses, industries, and governments are continuing to struggle with as information technology (IT) innovations create ever-stronger impacts. In this article, we explore consumer information privacy issues and review the results of related prior research. We provide a survey of the literature on information privacy based on our assessment from: (1) the societal and public policy perspective, (2) the business practices perspective, and (3) the individual privacy and consumer behavior perspectives that relate to the disclosure of private information by individuals to firms. From the societal and public policy perspective, we identify a number of research directions that relate to the social welfare implications of personal information surveillance, the safeguards needed at the societal level, and the nature of privacy-enhancing regulations. From the business practices perspective, we suggest other research directions that involve the examination of factors influencing organizational choices of privacy practices. We also offer some ways to discover how organizations can leverage their investments in information privacy. The individual and consumer behavior perspective, in turn, prompts Accounting Information Systems (AIS) researchers to look at the nature of people's beliefs and attitudes about privacy; the ways such attitudes affect their intentions and behaviors; and how individuals' behaviors can be influenced by organizational privacy policies and practices. The main contribution of this article is to understand these issues and identify opportunities for AIS researchers to enrich the current body of knowledge on this critical topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-79
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Business practices
  • Consumer information privacy
  • Firms
  • Generally accepted privacy principles (GAPP)
  • Information privacy
  • Information technology
  • Privacy
  • Public policy
  • Societal issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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