Measuring individuals’ concerns over collective privacy on social networking sites

Haiyan Jia, Heng Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


With the rise of social networking sites (SNSs), individuals not only disclose personal information but also share private information concerning others online. While shared information is co-constructed by self and others, personal and collective privacy boundaries become blurred. Thus there is an increasing concern over information privacy beyond the individual perspective. However, limited research has empirically examined if individuals are concerned about privacy loss not only of their own but their social ties’; nor is there an established instrument for measuring the collective aspect of individuals’ privacy concerns. In order to address this gap in existing literature, we propose a conceptual framework of individuals’ collective privacy concerns in the context of SNSs. Drawing on the Communication Privacy Management (CPM) theory (Petronio, 2002), we suggest three dimensions of collective privacy concerns, namely, collective information access, control and diffusion. This is followed by the development and empirical validation of a preliminary scale of SNS collective privacy concerns (SNSCPC). Structural model analyses confirm the three-dimensional conceptualization of SNSCPC and reveal antecedents of SNS users’ concerns over violations of the collective privacy boundaries. This paper serves as a starting point for theorizing privacy as a collective notion and for understanding online information disclosure as a result of social interaction and group influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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