Feeds

Privacy still blights online retailers

Costly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Privacy concerns have reared their ugly head again this week with the release of a new study from Jupiter Media Metrix (JMM). It found that as many as 70% of US consumers are still worried about their online privacy rights - and JMM reckons these worries will cost online businesses as much as $25 billion by 2006.

Privacy is a problem that just won't disappear. Ever since the Internet retailers appeared it has been one of the greatest stumbling blocks to their evolution and, ultimately, success. Unfortunately there's only so much that legitimate companies can do about it.

They comply with the various national and international regulations, they post a prominent privacy statement. But still it isn't doing the job.

The problem with online retail is the same one as with all online activities - nobody knows who you are. No matter how legitimate your business may be, no matter how many years of healthy and successful trading you have under your belt, a first time visitor to your site may still think you're a charlatan.

The study from JMM shows just how bad this problem really is. According to the findings of the study, almost 70% of US consumers are concerned about their privacy online. With this in mind, however, many of these consumers dive straight for the corporate, online, privacy statement as soon as they visit a site. But it isn't as many as you would hope. Only 40% of web site visitors read an online privacy statement and, perhaps more worrying, only 30% of them understand the privacy statements - leaving the majority in a cloud of uncertainty.

That doesn't mean that companies can't get personal information about their web site visitors. Because they can. 82% of those polled by JMM said that they would willingly hand over personal information even if they weren't planning to make a purchase. But there is a caveat. The consumer wants to see some kind of return. JMM says that entering them into a $100 sweepstake would suffice for many. Others may be more brazen, wanting cars, yachts etc. The point is that you can get the information if you really want it, but you have to offer inducements.

That, of course, only goes part of the way to solving the problem. Certainly you can buy personal information with said inducements. But if they don't trust you in the first place then what chance do you have? JMM makes an interesting comment that perhaps summarises how you should tackle this issue. Privacy, it argues, should be considered as a strategic marketing tool as opposed to a compliance burden. Bear that in mind and you shouldn't go too far wrong.

© .IT-Analysis.com

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.