Would you Pay for a Facebook Account to Protect Your Privacy?


  • Stephen L. Baglione Saint Leo University
  • Louis A. Tucci The College of New Jersey
  • Patrick Woock The University of Minnesota, Duluth


Facebook, privacy, Choice-Based Conjoint, Hierarchical Bayes, Mechanical Turk


The research’s purpose is to determine whether Facebook users would pay for their accounts to protect their privacy and reduce the number of advertisements shown to them by Facebook.  Facebook account holders were recruited from Mechanical Turk to complete the survey.  Choice-Based Conjoint (CBC) was used to estimate the utility consumers have for price, advertising, and privacy.  Facebook users overwhelmingly prefer the no-cost option with the usual number of advertisements, and Facebook owning what is posted.  Price is 50 percent more important than the next most important attribute: owning the data on Facebook.  The number of advertisements shown on Facebook is about a third as important as price.  Privacy concerns on Facebook are overshadowed by the cost of acquiring that privacy.  Its contribution is making privacy and the number of advertisements shown a choice in the decision.  Through tradeoff analysis, respondents must be explicit about what is important. 


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