An Onto-Epistemological Analysis of Information Privacy Research

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2021.0633

Privacy is one of the most urgent issues associated with the advancement of information technology. Yet, there is a growing concern that the issues surrounding privacy have been too complex to understand, with conflicting evidence on how well prevalent theories explain everyday people’s privacy-related actions and decisions. As current theories leave a considerable part of privacy phenomena unexplained, it is conceivably difficult to devise behavioral interventions or policy measures that effect change in practice. In this commentary, we illustrate how a new onto-epistemological perspective, drawing from Dreyfus’ influential exegesis of the Heideggerian framework, could bring about new research questions that complement the existing ones in making our theories more reflective of the richness of privacy phenomena in practice.

History: Paul Pavlou, Senior Editor; Idris Adjerid, Associate Editor.

Funding: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation [Grant 1851637].

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