Psychology of ownership and asset defense: Why people value their personal information beyond privacy

Sarah Spiekermann, Jana Korunovska, Christine Bauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Analysts, investors and entrepreneurs have for long recognized the value of comprehensive user profiles. While there is a market for trading such personal information among companies, the users, who are actually the providers of such information, are not asked to the negotiations table. To date, there is little information on how users value their personal information. In an online survey-based experiment 1059 Facebook users revealed how much they would be willing to pay for keeping their personal information. Our study reveals that as soon as people learn that some third party is interested in their personal information (asset consciousness prime), the value their information to a much higher degree than without this prime and start to defend their asset. Furthermore, we found that people develop a psychology of ownership towards their personal information. In fact, this construct is a significant contributor to information valuation, much higher than privacy concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2012
PublisherAssociation of Information Systems (AIS)
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781627486040
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2012


  • Empirical research
  • Facebook
  • Information valuation
  • Privacy
  • Psychology of ownership


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