Feeds

Privacy still blights online retailers

Costly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.