Part of the problem, Jupiter suggests, is that consumers confuse privacy and security. Keeping credit card information secure is the top consumer concern when it comes to e-commerce, but online users apparently tend to lump that issue with privacy, Jupiter said.
Rather than allowing media reports and government regulators to shape the dialogue over privacy issues, Web sites need to be proactive in educating consumers and tackling their fears, according to an executive summary posted at the market researcher's Web site at www.jup.com.
"As media and government scrutiny increase, in turn fueling consumer fears, the privacy issue could quickly turn into the privacy problem," which could affect online advertising and digital commerce revenue, the report said.
Jupiter asked survey respondents to identify the top two factors that would lead to better trust of Web sites when it comes to privacy and 37 per cent said that they "simply did not trust Web sites with their privacy." Posted privacy policies do allay worries of 36 per cent of those surveyed.
Government regulation clearly isn't the answer. Just 14 per cent said that they would be more likely to trust a Web site when it comes to privacy if the site were subject to government regulation. Even less credible in terms of privacy are sites recommended by family and friends. Only 9 per cent of the 2015 online consumers surveyed said that such a recommendation would contribute to their trusting a site to not violate their privacy.