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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Dr. George R. Milne

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth G. Miller

Subject Categories



General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumers’ Protect Act (CCPA) provide a set of provisions to regulate marketers’ processing of consumers’ personal data. One of these provisions is to offer consumers the ‘right to erasure' or ‘right to be forgotten.’ These regulations recommend that firms enable consumers to delete some or all of their personal information from the firm’s databases permanently if desired (Palmer 2019). Firms are struggling to figure out how to give consumers options to delete their data. Moreover, managers are not sure to what extent will consumers delete their data, if given an option to delete. Getting answers to the question of how to best manage customer data is important for firms which strive to maintain positive consumer-firm relationships. Given the new regulatory developments, there has been no specific consumer research examining deletion transparency, its operationalization, its effects on the data ultimately shared with firms.

This dissertation explores operationalization of data transparency by investigating the impact of three different frames that firms can use while requesting consumers to share various degrees of sensitive information. The three frames are: (1) asking consumers to provide personal information, (2) asking consumers to keep (already) collected information, (3) asking consumers to delete (already) collected information. Through six experiments and one meta-analysis, I tested and showed that different frames affect consumers’ autonomy and vulnerability differently, which determine their willingness to share personal information. I also explored the role of perceived sensitivity, audiences (trust in the recipients and presence vs. absence of the third party) as the moderators for the effect of different frames on consumers’ willingness to share their personal information. Theoretically, this research contributes to privacy, framing, and information-sharing literatures. Managerially, this research explores the option of deletion for consumers to control their data and tests the extent to which they will share/ delete various types of information. For policy makers, this dissertation along with the main effect, tests the framing effect with different defaults and explores its impact on the extent of sharing information.


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