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Dimensions of privacy concern among online consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of many organizations studying influences on consumer privacy online. The authors investigate these influences, taking into consideration the current body of literature on privacy and the Internet and the FTC’s core principles of fair information practice. The authors analyze these influences to assess the underlying factors of privacy concern online. The authors examine the current recommendations and actions of the FTC in light of the results of an e-mail survey of online consumers in the United States that assessed their attitudes toward privacy online. The authors find that the FTC’s core principles address many of online consumers’ privacy concerns. However, two factors not directly incorporated in the five principles, the relationships between entities and online users and the exchange of information for appropriate compensation, may influence consumers’ privacy concerns.