Disentangling the relation among trust, efficacy and privacy management: a moderated mediation analysis of public support for government surveillance during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jing Liu*, Marko M. Skoric, Chen Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the effects of political/cultural beliefs and situational perceptions on public support for government surveillance amidst COVID-19, using a representative survey conducted in Hong Kong. Our results indicate that situational responses (i.e. privacy trust and self-efficacy) balance against each other in mediating the effects of political/cultural beliefs (i.e. political trust, political efficacy, democratic-individualism) and situational perceptions (i.e. perceived cost and benefit of disclosure, perceived threat of COVID-19) on surveillance support. Both perceived benefit of disclosure and political trust positively affects surveillance support indirectly by promoting the contributing mediator privacy trust while suppressing the inhibiting mediator privacy self-efficacy. Perceived cost of disclosure shows no direct effect, but a positive indirect effect on surveillance support by suppressing privacy self-efficacy; perceived threat shows a positive direct effect while a negative indirect effect by suppressing privacy trust. Internal political efficacy shows a strong negative direct effect, but no indirect effect; and external political efficacy shows a negative indirect effect by promoting privacy self-efficacy. Alternative media use, as a proxy for democratic-individualism, mitigates situational perceptions’ effects on surveillance support, regardless of the directions. The findings advance our understanding of the formation process of public opinion on government surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction

User-Defined Keywords

  • alternative media use
  • government surveillance
  • political trust and efficacy
  • privacy calculus
  • privacy trust and self-efficacy

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