The unrestrained stream of information is conceived necessary for democracies and market-based economies. The capability of the Internet to make available the vast quantity of information to practically everyone, irrespective of their locations thus entails large benefits. The Internet provides access to the greatest libraries of the world to the students even in the smallest towns and permit the medical specialists to analyze the patients situated about thousands of miles away. The attribute of interactivity of the Internet fosters communication and personal and political expression. The Internet also assists to make the economies progress as it enhances the ease, speed and cost effectiveness with regard to the collection, compilation and delivery around the world to the multiple extent. The electronic commerce will decline the business costs as companies are able to take the benefits of enhanced access to customers, products and suppliers worldwide along with more and better customer marketing information. (Buchholz, Rosenthal, 2002)
Consumers will also be benefited from the declined prices and wider product selection that generate the flow from ease of understanding to more and better consumer information and more vendors. With such advantages however, also crop up problematic confrontation of electronic networks for commerce that generate information trails permitting the transaction information of the customers to be easily monitored, collected and compiled entailing others with the personal details of the lives of the people. The Supermarkets and other retail vendors apply the scanners to monitor the purchases. The bank and credit card companies store the information about our payment records, the location of our shopping, the things we purchase. The insurance companies, doctors and hospitals have large amounts of personal information on their clients and patients.
The contemporary technology has not only enhanced the quantity of information circulating about individuals, but also the easiness of retrieving practically anything one wants to know about someone. Such information stems from various sources. At any moment one entails the information for credit card applications, medical records, insurance applications, driver's applications and renewals, online purchases, or visits to Websites, information is collected and stored. Generating personal information is essential in our society; however, everybody provides it with the anticipation that it will remain secret. Such information however, is treated as a hot commodity and is offered for sale, and those offering for sell are not essentially liable to safeguard the privacy of individuals. While it is growingly problematic to belief any site to maintain personal information safe from the interlopers the biggest risk to privacy of data is not crackers, stalkers or data brokers. It is the legal online businesses like advertising networks, retailers and others that generate detailed profiles of the people their activities on the Internet. (Buchholz, Rosenthal, 2002)
Governments, schools, businesses and other agencies might have gathered the personal information. The information gathered by governments is often publicly offered in the form of Public Registers. The Electoral Roll and the Telephone Directory are Public Registers. The Electoral Roll and the Telephone Directory are illustrations of Public Registers. The school, university or employer may bring out the name or other related information. Much of the personal information that is widely available has been gathered and compiled into the databases by means of Web-based companies that offer such information for sell from many sources. Since there is little or no law anywhere in the world administering such kind of activity there do not exist much that can be performed about it, but at least it can be understood. (Protecting your Privacy on the Internet) The ease and cost effectiveness with which the personal information is collected, compiled, and transferred can, if not maintained carefully calls upon decline of personal privacy.
New surveillance and information gathering technologies are available presently everywhere and they are fixing up all sorts of warning bells for those who are concerned about the corrosion of privacy. (Linda, 2001) The cookies are applied for those of us that reach the internet through a public ISP, each request we make to a Website cannot be connected to a previous request, while each request do not entail a permanent specific identifier. The cookies permit website operators to offer a permanent identifier to a computer that can be applied to associate the requests made to the Website from that computer. Cookies offer the information to the website that you have been there earlier and also can be applied to record the portions of the website that is visited. While cookies themselves may not identify you, in the way a name or address perform, a cookie could prospectively be connected with other identifying information. Further there exists several attributes of HTTP that may permit your surfing behavior to be monitored. Other information that may be sent whenever a web page is requested is that includes the e-mail address and the last web page that is looked upon. The transmission of such information is based on the compatibility of the browser to such options or if the browser has been configured with the e-mail address. (Protecting your Privacy on the Internet)
The consequence is warning of awful predictions. The books have currently been brought out with such titles as Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century by Simson Garfinkel, The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America by Jeffrey Rosen and the End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance Is Becoming a Reality by Reg Whitaker. The Survey reports have indicated that the public is seriously worried: a 1999 Wall Street Journal -- NBC survey, to illustrate indicate that privacy is the matter of great concern for the Americans during the 21st Century and much beyond the overpopulation, racial tensions and global warming. The politicians cannot say sufficiently on privacy and are hurrying to pass legislations to safeguard it. Growingly business and technology are seen as the culprits. Over the next 50 years, the journalist Simson Garfinkel narrates in Database Nation that we visualize the new kinds of risks to privacy that do not trace their roots in totalitarianism, but in capitalism, the free market, advanced technology, and the unrestrained exchange of electronic information. (Lester, 2001)
The privacy is a great mater of consumer concerns and there is no doubt about it. A survey conducted in October, 2000 by the National Consumers League presented that the consumers are more anxious about personal privacy than about the health care, education, crime, and taxes. A survey conducted in January, 2001 by Wirthlin Worldwide revealed that a plethora of adverse emotions related to extension of personal information during business transactions. The three most common words the consumers apply to narrate their intensions were cautious, hesitant and suspicious. Such words replicate specific privacy threats. As per the American Demographics survey that took the sample of 1024 people, the consumers first risk is that businesses or individuals will victimize their children -- 66% of the sample population reveals that they are seriously concerned about this. Another existing threat among consumers is that private information will somehow be applied against them. And over half of those surveyed reveal that they are extremely or very concerned. Another prevalent fear among consumers is that private information will somehow be applied against them.
More than 50% of those surveyed apprehend that if they reveal the personal information they will be raid or cheated or even their identity will be stolen for use in fake modes. However, most of these threats are termed as 'anti-victimization fears' by Alan Westin due to the fact that they concentrate on physical or financial damages. While marketers can assist the consumers assure of precautions taken to address such possibilities such fears are dealt with primarily by legal action in Congress and the courts. A large number of bills awaiting on the Hill deal with a plethora of privacy issues, incorporating distribution of authorities to the FTC for privacy protection, enhancing penalties against computer crimes and stringent amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Rachael Shanahan, chief privacy officer for Unica an analytical CRM provider perceived the privacy issue to be very multifaceted. Being capable of isolated and understanding those underlying fears is significant so that marketers can address that is real concern to their target. Taking into account the population figures and structures, privacy is not considered to be a big issue. Rich and educated people are seen to be much reactive to safeguard their privacy. (Lester, 2001)
Hence, the information privacy -- a control over the process by which the personal information is collected, revealed and applied -- is considered critical to the development and use of electronic commerce. The U.S. strategy to safeguard privacy balances the privacy rights of individuals with the assistance associated with the free flow of information. To attain such balance, the U.S. conventionally, has depended upon a blend of sector-specific acts, rules and private sectors ethics and market forces. Such strategy to privacy continues to make the most sense in the electronic commerce context, since electronic commerce will…