ASSESSING GENDER DIFFERENCES IN COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS’ SELF-REGULATORY EF?CACY CONCERNING INFORMATION PRIVACY PRACTICES
Concerns with improper collection and usage of personal information by businesses or governments have been seen as critical to the success of the emerging electronic commerce. In this regard, computer professionals have the oversight responsibility for information privacy because they have the most extensive knowledge of their organization’s systems and programs, as well as an intimate understanding of the data. Thus, the competence of these professionals in ensuring sound practice of information privacy is of great importance to both researchers and practitioners. This research addresses the question of whether male computer professionals differ from their female counterparts in their self-regulatory efficacy to protect personal information privacy. A total of 103 male and 65 female subjects surveyed in Taiwan responded to a 10item questionnaire that includes three measures: protection (protecting privacy information), non-distribution (not distributing privacy information to others), and nonacquisition (not acquiring privacy information). The ?ndings show (1) signi?cant gender differences exist in the subjects’ overall self-regulatory ef?cacy for information privacy, and, in particular, (2) that female subjects in this study exhibited a higher level of selfregulatory ef?cacy than males for the protection and non-acquisition of personal privacy information. The identi?cation of the factorial structure of the self-regulatory ef?cacy concerning information privacy may contribute to future research directed to examining the links between privacy ef?cacy and psychological variables, such as ethical attitude, ethical intention, and selfesteem. Studies can also be extended to investigate how different cultural practices of morality and computer use in men and women may shape the different development patterns of privacy self-ef?cacy. Understanding the different cultural practices may then shed light on the social sources of privacy competence and the appropriate remedies that can be provided to improve the situation.