CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Michelle Ramim

Committee Member

James Parrish

Abstract

Consumers have begun to take a more proactive approach to their healthcare by accessing pharmaceutical companies Websites to obtain health and drug information, support groups, rebates, coupons, as well as free drug trials. In exchange for these benefits, companies require consumers to voluntarily disclose information. However, research has shown that consumers continue to be concerned about how their information is managed, used, and distributed by companies, especially if accessed via the Web. To date, there has been limited empirical research to examine the actual online practices of companies when it comes to privacy, especially those of pharmaceutical companies. Using Delphi expert panel process, the components of a benchmarking index were identified to examine the documented and actual online practices of 100 Website registrations with pharmaceutical companies. The evolution for the development of an index to measure the personal information privacy violations of pharmaceutical companies is presented. Second, empirical evidence is provided regarding the magnitude of voluntary adherence to the Fair Information Practices (FIPs) by pharmaceutical companies based upon the personal information privacy violations. The results revealed that companies with headquarters in Europe had fewer personal information privacy violations than those in Asia, UK, and the US. Moreover, the results indicate that fewer personal information privacy violations occur for chronic conditions than for non-chronic conditions, as well as fewer violations occur with Website registrations for updates than for discounts. Finally, both Europe and UK demonstrated more overall adherence to FIPs than the US and Asia. This suggests that self-regulation may not be sufficient, while more enforcement may be necessary to decrease personal information privacy violations.