January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Survey points out privacy concerns

A new survey by Fiderus, Research Triangle Park, N.C., prepared by Yankelovich Partners, found that 48% of regular Internet users list privacy and security as their greatest concern about shopping online. As a result, 31% of respondents will not make online purchases this holiday season, and two out of five Internet users (38%) will limit the amount they spend online because of concerns about security or privacy. One in three refuse to give personal information such as name, home phone number and e-mail address over the Internet. Also, 95% of Internet users feel it is essential that online companies convince them that they have excellent privacy and security measures in place. According to the Information Technology Association of America, perceived shortcomings in privacy and security could slash as much as $1 trillion from global e-commerce revenues in the next three years, or about one-third of the projected total. Yankelovich Partners conducted an online study on behalf of Fiderus, a consulting firm for security and privacy solutions. A regionally representative sample of 1,000 Americans age 18 or older were interviewed online through a web-based survey. Interviews were conducted between Nov. 17 and Nov. 21. To ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the total national online adult population, completed interviews were weighted to known proportions for age, gender, and household income. The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.1%.

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