Online Privacy Concerns Scale

The following scale can be used to assess online privacy concerns both on a vertical and horizontal level. The scale is copyrighted but you are free to use it without permission as long as you give credit to the author by citing the following book:

Masur, P. K. (2018). Situational privacy and self-disclosure: Communication processes in online environments. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-78884-5


How concerned are you about. . .

Second-Order Factor 1: Vertical privacy concerns

Factor 1a: …about website providers

  • . . .website or app providers recording and using your surfing behavior?
  • . . .website or app providers sharing your data with unknown third parties?
  • . . .website or app providers tracking your online behavior and thereby getting information about you?

Factor 1b: …about institutions

  • . . . institutions, public agencies, or intelligence services monitoring your online communication?
  • . . . not having insight into what institutions, public agencies, or intelligence services do with your data?
  • . . . institutions, public agencies, or intelligence services collecting and analyzing the data that you share on the Internet?

Second-Order Factor 2: Horizontal privacy concerns

Factor 2a: …about information access

  • . . . other people getting information about you without your consent?
  • . . . other people finding information about you online?
  • . . . other people search information spying on you on the Internet?

Factor 2b: … about information sharing

  • . . . other people spreading information about you without your knowledge?
  • . . . other people sharing information about you (e.g., photos, address, contact information. . . ) with other people without your consent?
  • . . . other people publishing information about you (e.g., photos, address, contact information. . . ) on the Internet

Factor 2c: … about identity theft

  • . . . people on the Internet not being who the claim to be?
  • . . . an unknown person claiming to be you on the Internet?
  • . . . someone misusing your identity on the Internet?

Note: All items should be measured on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 = not at all concerned to 7 = very concerned.