Survey reveals privacy dichotomy

Nearly 70% of U.S. consumers polled by Jupiter Media Metrix worry about their online privacy. Yet only 40% read privacy statements before giving their personal information to Website. These findings from a survey released June 3 follow a March Jupiter survey in which just 30% of consumers thought that online privacy statements were easy to grasp.

The survey also reveals that 82% of online consumers are willing to provide various forms of information to shopping Websites from which they’ve yet to make purchases in exchange for something as modest as a $100 sweepstakes entry. In addition, 61% of consumers will supply their e-mail address and 49% will give their full name. Only 19% will provide their phone number, and just 18% will provide their household income.

“Neither consumers nor businesses effectively address online privacy issues,” Jupiter analyst Rob Leathern in a statement. “Even legitimate businesses will suffer when consumers’ perceptions of the control and safety of their personal information online are damaged. Companies should clearly and pervasively communicate their data gathering and use policies to make trade-offs between information and benefits increasingly clear to consumers.”

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