The value of accountability in the cloud: Individuals’ willingness to pay for transparency

Wouter Steijn, Maartje Niezen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Accountability tools increasingly are introduced in the cloud market in order to offer cloud customers more insight in the use of their data in the cloud and to promote responsible data stewardship. The underlying assumption of tool developers is that people are willing to pay for cloud services that would otherwise be free, if transparency is offered of the data processes and the transparency information is reliable due to supervisory processes. However, no studies as yet exist to support this claim. In this paper we explore amongst a sample of lay people their general willingness to pay for a tool that offers them transparency about their data in the cloud and its use by the cloud provider and possible others. Our Choice-based Conjoint experiment demonstrates that respondents are willing to pay 31.2 euros per year in order to receive high transparency information rather than low, 6.6 euros per year to keep transparency information from going public, and 8.2 euros per year in order to have an independent authority to keep track of the reliability of this transparency information instead of the cloud provider. Importantly these results should not be interpreted as a hard outcome. Instead, our experiment informs that people are willing to pay for accountability and that cost is the most important factor influencing their decision to acquire an accountability tool or not, compared to the other attributes; level of transparency, offered supervision and audience of the offered information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
JournalTechnology and Society Magazine, IEEE
Volume34
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Social implications of technology
  • technology social factors
  • systems
  • man & cybernetics
  • behavioural science
  • Consumer Behaviour

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