Optimistic bias about online privacy risks: Testing the moderating effects of perceived controllability and prior experience

Hichang Cho
JaeShin Lee, NUS
Siyoung CHUNG, Joong Ang Univ


This study examined the ways in which Internet users construct their risk judgments about online privacy. The results, based on telephone survey data from a national probability sample in Singapore (n = 910), revealed that (a) individuals distinguish between two separate dimensions of risk judgment (personal level and societal level), (b) individuals display a strong optimistic bias about online privacy risks, judging themselves to be significantly less vulnerable than others to these risks, and (c) internal belief (perceived controllability) and individual difference (prior experience) significantly moderate optimistic bias by increasing or decreasing the gap between personal- and societal-level risk estimates. The implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed.