Privacy in e-Commerce: Examining User Scenarios and Privacy Preferences

TitlePrivacy in e-Commerce: Examining User Scenarios and Privacy Preferences
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsAckerman, MS, Cranor, LFaith, Reagle, J
Conference NameProceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC'99)
Keywordselectronic commerce, platform for privacy preferences, privacy, privacy protocols, user survey, World Wide Web

Privacy is a necessary concern in electronic commerce. It is difficult, if not impossible, to complete a transaction without revealing some personal data – a shipping address, billing information, or product preference. Users may be unwilling to provide this necessary information or even to browse online if they believe their privacy is invaded or threatened. Fortunately, there are technologies to help users protect their privacy. P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences Project) from the World Wide Web Consortium is one such technology. However, there is a need to know more about the range of user concerns and preferences about privacy in order to build usable and effective interface mechanisms for P3P and other privacy technologies. Accordingly, we conducted a survey of 381 U.S. Net users, detailing a range of commerce scenarios and examining the participants' concerns and preferences about privacy. This paper presents both the findings from that study as well as their design implications