Web Merchants' Privacy And Security Statements: How Reassuring Are They For Consumers? A Two-Sided Approach


Claire Gauzente


Online environment is now part of everyday life. However, trust is still an important issue for online merchants. This explains why there is an increasing interest in "trust busters" by the general consumer. Trust busters entail, among other, a thorough online privacy policy (OPP) that encompasses detailed privacy and security statements. The paper looks at both the views of the consumer and the views of the web merchants in attempting to unravel the problems of privacy on the Net. A sample of 89 French web merchants and a sample of 154 consumers were examined using bivariate analysis. The results show that, even in a government-regulated country such as France, there is still room for improvement in web merchants' privacy policies. Concerning consumers, an important result is that the perception of reassuring privacy and security statements varies according to browsing intention.

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August, 2004

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