November 8, 2001, 12:00 AM

Privacy concerns may be costing sales, says privacy systems vendor

A survey of 500 Internet users concludes that online and offline retailers lost $6.2 billion in sales as a result of consumers` privacy concerns.

Privacy may be more than an academic issue to retailers as the result of a new study from Cyber Dialogue and UCO Software Inc. Extrapolating from a survey of 500 Internet users, UCO Software, a vendor of enterprise privacy systems, concludes that online and offline retailers lost $6.2 billion in sales as a result of consumers¡¦ privacy concerns.

The October 2001 survey by Cyber Dialogue shows:
„h--27% of consumers had abandoned an order online because of privacy concerns, while 21% switched to place an order offline
„h--7% of respondents¡¦ online purchases and 5% offline were made at another store or brand because of perceived privacy issues
--89% consider companies¡¦ sharing credit card information and 83% consider companies¡¦ sharing names and home addresses without permission a direct violation of privacy
„h--78% have asked to be removed from an e-mail list.

¡§Consumer privacy concerns are having a direct impact on corporate profits, and retailers need to address the issue if they want to keep customer defection rates down,¡¨ said Kevin Mabley, vice president of operations for UCO Software. ¡§Consumers aren¡¦t just concerned, they¡¦re taking action: abandoning orders, switching brands, filing complaints.¡¨

UCO Software sells system that enable businesses to manage and enforce customer privacy policies across their organizations. The company¡¦s Granite Privacy Suite filters corporate information transactions through a policy rules engine to ensure compliance with privacy policies and statutes across the enterprise.


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