NEGATIVE CONSUMER/INTERNET SIGNIFICANCE 393
CONSUMERS GET HUGE BENEFITS FROM OPEN INFORMATION
PRIVACY CLAIMS MUST BE REJECTED IN THE INTERESTS OF THE FRE FLOW OF INFORMATION
Solveig Singleton, director of information studies at the Cato Institute, October 18, 1999http://www.cdt.org/privacy/FTC/profiling/singleton.htm// acs-EE2001
We then face the question of the legitimacy of consumer's claimed interests in privacy, the claimed right of notice, consent, access, and so on. The claimed privacy interests are deeply problematic, because they conflict at a very fundamental level with the free flow of information.
When a consumer ventures out onto the street or online to interact with other people, he can generally assume (as when moving into a new neighborhood) that anyone he encounters is likely to learn something about him from his behavior, or comment on it to other people. If he participates in a transaction online or offline, there are two entities involved in the transaction--himself, and the representatives of the company.
INFORMATION SHARING BRINGS HUGE BENEFITS TO THE ECONOMY
Barbara Young, senior vice president of the Financial & Professional Services Group of Shandwick-Minneapolis, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) March 20, 2000, SECTION: BUSINESS; Pg. 3D TITLE: The thundering privacy train; Unless some of the steam is let out of this issue, businesses, consumers and the economy all could be derailed // acs-VT2001
We worry about our personal information being compromised, transferred or misused.
Largely overlooked in the debate, however, is the value that information-sharing brings to our economy and to each of us. Sharing information is fundamental to a market economy. Businesses and government agencies have to have information about us to bring us the products and services we want and expect. And sometimes they must share that information in order to make things work _ for our country, our economy and ourselves.
Imagine how many loans banks would make if they didn't have information about us. Or how many late-night checks we could write for gas if the cashier couldn't verify our balances.
What interest rate would we pay on our home mortgage if lenders and credit reporting agencies couldn't freely exchange financial information about us?
DATA SHARING ALLOWS BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE AND WOULD NOT BE MISUSED
Sean Madigan; Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), March 24, 2000, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 3A TITLE: Hatch tells Congress to strengthen consumer privacy protection // acs-VT2001
The financial services industry maintains that data-sharing allows companies to offer an array of valuable products and services to consumers.
Banks don't want to sell information, which would hurt their customers, to telemarketers and other firms, Julia Johnson, a senior vice president of Bank One Corp., said Thursday at a forum sponsored by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
CUSTOMER LISTS MAKE SENSE FOR CUSTOMER SERVICES
TERESA DIXON MURRAY; The Plain Dealer, March 20, 2000; Pg. 1C TITLE: KEEPING YOUR LIFE PRIVATE; PROTECTING PERSONAL DATA IS BECOMING TOUGHER IN THE INFORMATION AGE // acs-VT2001
Companies have long kept customer lists. But it was difficult until recent years for them to sift out groups of customers based on specific characteristics such as age or home ownership or education. The technology of computerized databases means these lists today are a hot commodity.
Businesses would much rather focus sales efforts on people who are more likely to buy their products or services. Who is an athletic club better off targeting: a young couple that has bought sports equipment and travels frequently or a senior citizen who spends hundreds of dollars a month on prescriptions?
IT IS GOOD FOR CONSUMERS TO BE "KNOWN" AT THEIR SHOPPING SITE
ESTHER DYSON, edits the technology newsletter Release 1.0, Los Angeles Times March 20, 2000, SECTION: Business; Part C; Page 3; TITLE: CONTROL OF PRIVATE DATA BELONGS IN HANDS OF CONSUMERS, NOT VENDORS // acs-VT2001
In many circumstances, consumers are happy to be "known." It's convenient to have a vendor know your shoe size, your seating preference, your "regular" grocery order. It's pleasant to be greeted by name and to be offered books, stocks or a rental car that match your preferences.
MANY PEOPLE WISH TO LEAVE AN ONLINE "TRAIL" BECAUSE IT WILL BENEFIT THEM
Piper Cole, director of global public policy for Sun Microsystems, USA TODAY, Friday, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 14A TITLE: We take privacy seriously Web // acs-EE2001
Finally, some of us want to leave an on-line trail for personal convenience, so we can get "direct mail" targeted to what we want.
Sun's position is that on-line privacy needs to be balanced with individual choice. No one group, or government, should dictate individual privacy preferences. Instead, Sun supports a self-regulating system of privacy for both consumers and businesses. Businesses have a substantial motivation to respect the privacy of their customers: There is no benefit from gathering and using information that is worth angering and losing the good will of a customer.
TARGETED ADVERTISING HELPS CONSUMERS
Wendy Muller, is managing director of DoubleClick Canada, Strategy, May 8, 2000 SECTION: Perspectives; OpinionPg. 20 TITLE: The high cost of Net privacy // acs-EE2001
They also recognize that ads can be helpful. Most Internet users welcome personalized content on the Web. The same recent polls have found that two-thirds of Internet users agree that one of the Internet's advantages is its ability to tailor itself to users - individual homepages, personal accounts at shopping sites or scores for someone's favourite sports team. The Internet is the ultimate tool for such one-to-one communication, allowing for a customization that can't be duplicated in any other medium.
This also applies to ads. The Internet exposes more people to different companies, allowing consumers to comparison-shop and get the best prices possible. The more information people have about products and services, the more efficient the marketplace. Targeted advertising allows consumers to receive information that is timely and relevant. It eliminates the clutter of unwanted ads and solicitations. Most important, targeted advertising helps keep the Internet free for consumers.
CUSTOMERS LIKE TO EXCHANGE INFORMATION FOR BETTER SERVICE
JEFF SWEAT, InformationWeek, April 10, 2000 TITLE: Privacy Paradox: Customers Want Control-And Coupons // acs-EE2001
But there's another side to privacy: Many customers are willing to part with personal information if doing so means they'll get better service and convenience.
Analysts and businesses agree that, used correctly, such information can improve customers' buying experiences. They say that if customers trust a given company, they don't mind sharing personal data. "If the retailer has a long-standing relationship with customers and has established a high level of trust, the (privacy) issues are less of a concern," says Ken Robb, VP of marketing for Brodbeck Enterprises Inc., a grocery store chain in Plattesville, Wis.