Privacy concerns for mobile app download: An elaboration likelihood model perspective

Jie Gu, Yunjie (Calvin) Xu, Heng Xu, Cheng Zhang, Hong Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


In the mobile age, protecting users' information from privacy-invasive apps becomes increasingly critical. To precaution users against possible privacy risks, a few Android app stores prominently disclose app permission requests on app download pages. Focusing on this emerging practice, this study investigates the effects of contextual cues (perceived permission sensitivity, permission justification and perceived app popularity) on Android users' privacy concerns, download intention, and their contingent effects dependent on users' mobile privacy victim experience. Drawing on Elaboration Likelihood Model, our empirical results suggest that perceived permission sensitivity makes users more concerned about privacy, while permission justification and perceived app popularity make them less concerned. Interestingly, users' mobile privacy victim experience negatively moderates the effect of permission justification. In particular, the provision of permission justification makes users less concerned about their privacy only for those with less mobile privacy victim experience. Results also reveal a positive effect of perceived app popularity and a negative effect of privacy concerns on download intention. This study provides a better understanding of Android users' information processing and the formation of their privacy concerns in the app download stage, and proposes and tests emerging privacy protection mechanisms including the prominent disclosure of app permission requests and the provision of permission justifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalDecision Support Systems
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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