The Role of Trust in the Protection of Privacy
Among issues that are most vexing today is that of trust and the privacy of personal information. As more information gets shared through computers or manual systems like forms, owners of information continue showing concern regarding their privacy level and the fat they lose control over personal information to third parties. People, have always provided personal information in different ways and especially during consumer transactions and online through social and other kinds of sites. Globalization and advancement in information technology and we has led to increased dependence of firms on competitive strategies on large volumes of consumer data.
The two issues, trust and privacy are inextricably (Hartman, n.d) linked. When the privacy of one individual gets violated, their trust is undermined equivalently. To effectively understand privacy, one must be able to develop a clear understanding of the role that is played by trust. People are likely to choose to get into a transaction or agreement if only they have trust. Dwyer, Hiltz and Passerini (2007) define trust s willingness of one party to be vulnerable to the actions of a third party on the grounds the trustee will perform particular action that is vital to them without paying attention to monitoring or controlling the trustee (as cited in Mayer, Davus & Schoorman, 1995,pp.712). Dwyer et al. (2007) asserts research has proven there exists a solid relationship between the disclosure of information and trust.
Decline in cost and increase in capability of information technology allows information to be applied in ways that are impractical economically or impossible in the past. Information technology makes it easier for organizations and companies to capture customers’ details at point of sale either biometrically, through manual forms or through their website. Such customer information that is confidential has proven to be a competitive necessity for companies and organizations to support their activities through their value chain. Client however, would be willing to share personal information on the basis of their level of trust on an organization or company and how best, the confidentiality of their information is treated by the trustee (Hartman, n.d).
The question regarding privacy works hand in hand with confidentiality and security. According to Hartman (n.d), privacy is assurance the information gathered from individuals is being accessed, retained, used and shared only when there is a need, within the limits and that the information is guarded in consistency with privacy regulations, practices and applicable law through the entire life cycle. The trustee would also have taken a keen interest in the consent of the trusting party. Basically, consent is the privacy expectations of the customer/client in an efficient and structured manner. Taking the example of a study carried out to examine the matter privacy and trust in social network sites, the results indicated differences in degree the degree of trust consumers had towards service providers (Dwyer et al., 2007).
As far as the matter of trust is concerned, maintaining privacy of an individual’s information is key. Both Dwyer and Hartman are in agreement that whenever individuals have trust in a website, company or firm, they are more willing to share their personal information as compared to instances when they do not. In a nutshell, privacy and trust are complimentary issues and it is of great importance for one to have an understanding of their link for purposes of earning trust.
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Dwyer, C., Hiltz, S. R., &Passerini, K. (2007). Trust and Privacy Concern within Social Networking Sites: A Comparison of Facebook and MySpace. In AMCIS (p. 339).
Hartman, K.G. (n.d.). Understanding the Role of Trust in the Protection of Privacy. Retrieved from http://himss.files.cms-plus.com/HIMSSorg/content/files/UnderstandingtheRole ofTrustintheProtectionofPrivacy.pdf