Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

A Descriptive Study of Online Privacy in the GCC Countries

A Descriptive Study of Online Privacy in the GCC Countries
View Free PDF
Author(s): Zeinab Karake Shalhoub (American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 2
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch158
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361


It is always difficult to analyze privacy and security as a phenomenon and may be almost impossible to analyze trust in the context of electronic commerce because of the complexity of electronic commerce. However, trust will be the decisive factor for success or failure of e-businesses. It is therefore vitally important for companies doing business online to act in a way that engenders consumers’ trust. Karake Shalhoub (2002) has studied a number of US based pure play firms to determine what she labeled trust enhancers. Her findings identified two main categories: Privacy and Security as the main determinants of trust in electronic commerce. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been studying the issue of online privacy in the commercial sector since 1995. In its initial report on online privacy, issued in 1998, the FTC recommended that Internet privacy issues be addressed through industry self-regulation and identified the core principles of privacy protection common to domestic and international documents describing fair information practices: notice, choice, access and security (FTC, 1999). The FTC recommended that commercial websites exhibit some sensitivity to privacy concerns and a determination to self-regulation by including a privacy statement, which addresses all of the core privacy principles. More recently, the FTC has also recommended participation in online privacy seal programs. These programs require licensees to implement certain fair information practices and submit to compliance testing in order to display a privacy seal on their websites. Specifically, the FTC proposed and advocated that fair information practices (FIPs) included the following dimensions: Notice/Awareness, Access, Choice, Security, and Enforcement and Redress. These widely recognized set of topics to address when a party in a transaction manipulates data about an individual. An equally important contributor for e-business in general and trust in particular is the perceived security aspect. In the early days of e-business consumers avoided doing business online mainly because of security concerns. Recently many developments have taken place to ease customer fear of the security problem online; the development of the concept of secure sockets layer (SSL) was introduced. Directly, pure play and brick and mortar firms, like, took advantage of the security provided by SSL and grew quickly (Srinivasan, 2004). Another instrument available today for enhancing trust is the digital certificate. Digital certificates are electronically verified. The Cheskin Research Group (1999, 2000) found that the existence of logos of the firms (such as VeriSign) will contribute to the level of trust in online business. VeriSign falls in the Trusted Third Party (TTPs) category; TTPs are organizations whose main objective is to raise consumers’ trust in online transactions. This paper covers a descriptive study of the privacy issues of a sample of companies from the six countries of the GCC which are engaged in electronic commerce transactions. In what follows, the author will describe the sample of companies chosen from the six countries; then, a descriptive analysis of the privacy statements of the sample companies will follow. The paper will conclude with a summary section and suggestions for future research.

Body Bottom