When Disclosure is Involuntary: Empowering Users with Control to Reduce Concerns


privacy, involuntary disclosure, perceived control


Modern organizations must carefully balance the practice of gathering large amounts of valuable data from individuals with the associated ethical considerations and potential negative public image inherent in breaches of privacy. As it becomes increasingly commonplace for many types of information to be collected without individuals’ knowledge or consent, managers and researchers alike can benefit from understanding how individuals react to such involuntary disclosures and how these reactions can impact evaluations of the data-collecting organizations. This research develops and empirically tests a theoretical model that shows how empowering individuals with a sense of control over their personal information can help mitigate privacy concerns following an invasion of privacy. Using a controlled experiment with 94 participants, we show that increasing control can reduce privacy concerns and significantly influence individuals’ attitudes toward the organization that has committed a privacy invasion. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of our work.

Original Publication Citation

"Wilson, D. W., Schuetzler, R. M., Dorn, B., Proudfoot, J. G., & Valacich, J. S. (2015) When disclosure is involuntary: Empowering users with control to reduce concerns. International Conference on Information Systems. Fort Worth, Texas, December 13–16."

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Permanent URL



International Conference on Information Systems




Marriott School of Business


Information Systems

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor