Analyzing Threat Perceptions in the Context of Fitness Data: Refining the Technology Threat Avoidance Theory
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The number of people using fitness devices and mobile health applications creates unprecedented amounts of health-related fitness data. The data collected via these devices are not considered protected health information, therefore they are not provided the same legal protections. In the absence of legal provisions, users are responsible for ensuring their data are safe from potential data breaches and malicious activities. This study uses a revised Technology Threat Avoidance Theory (TTAT) model to analyze users’ motivations to implement safeguarding measures aimed at protecting their health-related fitness data. A revision was made to the threat calculus contained in the original TTAT model, and a privacy concerns construct was added as an antecedent to avoidance motivation. Students at a large university responded to a survey instrument evaluating how they form their threat perceptions and other factors influencing avoidance motivations. Results supported the revised threat calculus in the TTAT model. All of the original TTAT model constructs were upheld, except for safeguard cost. The privacy concerns construct was not significant in predicting avoidance motivations.