AN INVESTIGATION INTO INTERNET USERS PERCEPTION REGARDING THE DATA PRIVACY POLICIES OF VIRTUAL COMPANIES OPERATING IN IRELAND (RIKON Group)

Anita Kealy, Felicity Kelliher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Abstract: Virtual companies (i.e. a company that does not have a physical footprint and exists only on-line) have introduced new elements of risk and trust criteria for Internet users, and consumer concerns surrounding this medium have not been fully investigated to date. This paper examines the privacy concerns that the consumer has when providing personal details when transacting with virtual companies. The paper goes on to explore consumer awareness of virtual company’s privacy policies and seal programmes that were designed to address these concerns. The key objective is to: identify and analyse the concerns of the Irish population in relation to data privacy when purchasing from virtual firms. The researchers have taken a quantitative approach to the research, having developed a survey questionnaire for the purposes of eliciting consumer views relating to privacy concerns when purchasing from virtual firms in the Irish context. A literature review preceded the research instrument development, which consisted of a pilot study and expert advice. The main survey was conducted throughout Ireland’s South East region, in selected cities, and small towns. Results suggest that privacy concerns are high, but conversely, that there is little awareness of privacy policies or seal programmes among Irish consumers. Notably, consumers are unlikely to have read a virtual organisation’s privacy policy despite identified concerns, and this finding is consistent among survey participants. Statistical analysis of the survey findings has given meaning to the results.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Automation Austria
    Volume2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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