Understanding the use of location-based service applications: Do privacy concerns matter?

Haejung Yun, Dongho Han, Choong C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The popularization of smartphones has brought about substantial changes in location-based services (LBS). Advances in wireless communication technology have allowed affordable data service fees, and current smartphones are equipped with GPS; as a consequence, LBS applications are emerging as next-generation 'killer apps.' However, the diffusion of LBS has raised privacy concerns due to the potential abuse of location information. This study aims to validate a research model focusing on privacy concerns as moderators of the post-adoptive behaviors associated with LBS applications. Based on risky shift phenomenon research, the study seeks to test the effects of the major variables of UTAUT on LBS usage intention and actual use, as well as examine how these relationships differ according to the level of an individual's privacy concerns. We test the hypotheses using a survey with 234 users of LBS applications. The research findings support the hypotheses regarding the effects of performance expectancy and effort expectancy on LBS usage intention but do not support the hypothesis regarding the effect of social influence. In addition, the causal path from usage intention to actual use was significant. Group comparisons showed that the moderating effect of privacy concerns on performance expectancy and continuous usage intension is stronger in conjunction with low-privacy concerns, as shown in previous LBS research; however, the moderating effect on social influence and usage intention is stronger in conjunction with high privacy concerns. This finding can be explained by the risky shift phenomenon. Implications are discussed regarding the dual roles of privacy concerns in the post-adoptive behaviors of LBS users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-230
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Electronic Commerce Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Location-based service applications
  • Post-adoptive behavior
  • Privacy concerns
  • Risky shift phenomenon


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