Faculty Research at Morehead State University


A Preliminary Investigation of Web Retailers' Online Privacy Practices

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This study will analyze the Web sites of online retailers identified as The 50 Best Web Retailers by Internet Retailer.com. The study examines the privacy policies and third-party seals of endorsement found on these sites. Preliminary results indicate as with previous surveys, only a small portion of the Web retailers belong to any third party seal program. Additionally, a large percentage collect personal information from consumers, and the vast majority share that information with business affiliates. Furthermore, the majority of sites require consumers to opt-out of such programs, while far fewer take the opt-in approach for sharing collected information. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research, detailing specific methodologies for data collection and analysis, along with additional sampling procedures for comparative analysis.