The Role of Trust in Internet Privacy Essay examples

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The Role of Trust in Internet Privacy

One of the most important advances in the rapidly developing world of electronic commerce is the ability of companies to develop personalized relationships with their customers. Personalization empowers companies to better understand their customers' wants and desires and improve customer service by tailoring offerings to the unique needs of individuals . At the same time, this has become a subject of hot controversy because the technology involves the extensive collection and use of personal data.
Many, if not most, online shoppers and surfers are not aware of the extent of how much and what kind of info can be gathered about a person, even someone who is just visiting and not shopping or
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However, although concern about privacy and security has long been the biggest issue with online shoppersparticularly with the sanctity of their identification-related informationa majority do not mind their behavior being watched if it allows their shopping experience to be customized. According to the 1999 Personalized Marketing and Privacy on the Net: What Consumers Want survey conducted by the non-profit research firm Privacy and American Business, 61 percent of the 474 Internet users surveyed said that they would be positive toward receiving banner ads tailored to their personal interests rather than receiving random ads. This represents about 56 million adult users interested in such personalization. In addition, 68 percent of the users also said that they would provide personal information in order to receive tailored banner ads, on the condition that notice and opt-out are provided .
The study seems to back the e-commerce firms who are watching online behavior to provide customized shopping experiences, and not privacy advocates who say that this practice is an invasion of privacy. It is the purpose for gathering the information, it would seem, that is the key to drawing the line between acceptable personalization and invasion of privacy.
This is why it is important to many shoppers that a site have a privacy policy that explains what information is gathered and how it is being used, before they relinquish their information.
However,…

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