Virtual influencers and data privacy: Introducing the multi-privacy paradox

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Virtual influencers have a growing presence in social media, reshaping the traditional interactions between influencers and followers. Through an interdisciplinary orientation, we assess the implications of this phenomenon for data privacy. Specifically, we argue that, given that the virtual influencer is not a human being, an unbalanced privacy risk arises from possible data vulnerability, cybercrime, and the creation of fake profiles. We explore these risks through a qualitative exploratory study with 28 followers of virtual influencers. Our work culminates with a conceptual framework that highlights what we define as a multi-privacy paradox. We offer actionable ways for organizations to manage privacy and protect consumers dealing with virtual influencers in the metaverse.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114584
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date24 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • Virtual influencer
  • Data privacy
  • Unbalanced privacy risk
  • Data vulnerability, cybercrime
  • Fake profile
  • Multi-privacy paradox
  • Metaverse

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