SAFE IN THEIR HANDS?

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CONSUMER CONCERNS ABOUT DATA PROTECTION IN THE E-COMMERCE DOMAIN

 ABSTRACT:

Introduction to the 40 page results of the academic research carried out in 2009 which is under review by an academic journal.

E-commerce continues to expand, but there is evidence of increasing unease amongst consumers over vendor commitment to data protection. This paper investigates consumer concerns about data security in the e-commerce domain and identifies the antecedents of i) perceived trustworthiness of unknown vendors and ii) trust in known vendors. The findings of our web-based survey reveal a high level of concern over data security and confidentiality and a lack of conviction that vendors are doing all they can to protect personal data. Website and process design along with explicit assurances that data will be protected are identified as antecedents of perceived trustworthiness of unknown vendors, whilst assurances and the ability to opt out of data being sold or shared influence trust once the vendor is known. We find that consumers would like to manage their own data, suggesting the prospect of first-mover advantages for companies adopting VRM (vendor relationship management) strategies. 

AUTHORS:

Dr Ailsa Kolsaker is a Lecturer in Marketing and eBusiness in the postgraduate Management School, University of Surrey. Her interests lie in the application of new technologies to marketing.  A Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Academy of Marketing’s e-Marketing Special Interest Group, she is currently leading research into consumer responses to mobile marketing and consumer concerns about data protection in the online world. She is also involved in researching the prospects for leveraging Web 2.0 to promote user-generated and co-created content.

Graham Sadd is Founder and CEO of PAOGA Ltd. which provides Personal Information Management Services (PIMS). Previously he was Founder and CEO of Infobank Plc (rebranded Izodia Plc) developing a B2B e-procurement enterprise solution.  He has also founded and managed a number of businesses in the communications and publishing industries spanning graphic design, advertising, marketing, international book publishing, early electronic publishing, software development and international software publishing. Throughout his working life Graham has worked to exploit technology to automate repetitive tasks on the principle that People Are Our Greatest Asset. 

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