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INDUSTRY PRIVACY FAILURES HURTING E-COMMERCE, LATEST SURVEYS SHOW

October 30, 1999

      Concerns over Internet privacy continue to hamper e-commerce, according to two surveys. Jupiter Communications found that about 64 percent of respondents don't trust a Web site even if it has posted a privacy policy. Jupiter projected that privacy issues could potentially put an $18 billion dent in the $40 billion e-commerce revenue it project by 2002.

      Consumer fears are proving to be "more complex" and difficult to assuage. Michael Slack, a Jupiter analyst said, "It's not just about having legislation or privacy policy posting. There is a general nervousness about giving personal and credit card information on the Net. Sites need to actively promote their efforts among consumers to start pushing back their fears."

      Those surveyed who said they just browse, rather than buy online, said they are unlikely to purchase anything unless sites help them fee l more secure about handing over credit card data. "These same people will be less willing to give information about themselves until they feel they can trust the site; and without that information, the sites can't offer the targeted advertising that more and more advertisers are looking for, "Slack said. (www.jup.com)

      The second survey, by NFO Interactive, a Greenwich, Connecticut firm, found that the safekeeping of online consumers personal information was the main factor why people chose not to shop online.

      A survey of 4,523 Internet users, both buyers and non-buyers, revealed that consumers said the attribute that would most entice them to shop at a Web site was "trust that the site would keep personal information private."

      The security of a retail website is also a concern for online consumers. Other consumer concerns include if the site is timely, if it's technically reliable, and if the goods purchased online are quickly delivered. (www.nfoi.com)




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