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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Strategic Retail Management | 2014
Thesis number: 13629
Consumers' meanings regarding privacy: The mobile phone as an extension of self
Author: Koivisto, Esa
Title: Consumers' meanings regarding privacy: The mobile phone as an extension of self
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Strategic Retail Management
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; vähittäiskauppa; retail trade; strategia; strategy; kuluttajat; consumers; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; yksityisyys; privacy; matkapuhelimet; cellular phones; mobiilitekniikka; mobile technology
Pages: 70
Key terms: privacy; mobile phone; self; m-commerce
This study provides insights into consumers' meanings of privacy in the mobile phone use context, by aiming to answer the research question: what are consumers' meanings regarding privacy in their daily use of their mobile phones? Privacy has been considered as merely an important antecedent to new technology adoption intentions by deploying a calculus method that considers the benefits and negative consequences of information sharing. The lack of research on the actual meanings of privacy in the mobile phone context inspired the author to build a new theory from data. The existing literature on M-commerce and privacy as well as theory of extended self and paradoxes of technology were reviewed to provide context for the created framework.

The study was conducted in the spirit of Grounded Theory and the constant comparative method was utilized to analyze the results gathered from several interviews with consumers. The findings were coded and presented in under the four main concepts of privacy, availability/connectivity, dependency, and phone use and activity to provide clarity. The findings are further analyzed with the help of illustrations that depict the creation process of the grounded theory.

The end result is a framework that highlights the importance of the mobile phone and dependency that individuals have for this extension of their selves. Privacy, while very important, is viewed by consumers as an area that they control. Therefore, the mobile phone is not viewed as a threat to individual's privacy but invasion of privacy is nevertheless viewed to have serious negative implications for the perpetrators.
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