New York (June 25, 2002) -- Privacy and security concerns could cost online businesses almost $25 billion by 2006, according to a consumer survey by technology industry analysts Jupiter Media Matrix finds.

The survey suggests that consultants advising business clients on electronic commerce should encourage those companies to educate customers about their Web sites. The survey found that nearly 70 percent of U.S. consumers are concerned about their privacy online, but only 40 percent read privacy statements before handing over personal information to Web sites, and just 30 percent of online consumers find Web site privacy statements easy to understand.

"Neither consumers nor businesses effectively address online privacy issues," said Rob Leathern, a Jupiter analyst. "In this increasingly complex world, even legitimate businesses will suffer when consumers' perceptions of the control and safety of their personal information online are damaged."

Jupiter advises companies "to allocate dollars for consumer security and privacy education and to treat online privacy like a strategic marketing initiative, not a compliance burden."

-- John M. Covaleski


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