Privacy in E-Commerce: Development of Reporting Standards, Disclosure, and Assurance Services in an Unregulated Market
Government regulation of financial reporting by publicly listed firms, coupled with a punitive regime for violation of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), has been in place in the United States for seven decades. Whether this regime is effective or useful is an open question, especially in the absence of data on the behavior of unregulated economies. Privacy disclosure in e-commerce is essentially an unregulated environment with some parallels to financial disclosure. A study of privacy standards, disclosures practices, and demand for audits can help accountants and security regulators project the consequences of a competitive regime sans regulation for accounting standards, disclosure and audit practices. In this article we set up a framework for such a study, gather data from the field, and analyze privacy standards, privacy disclosure practices, and the effectiveness of opt-out practices of 100 high-traffic e-commerce Web sites. We observe four diverse sets of privacy standards (TRUSTe, BBB Online, WebTrust, and PWC Privacy) competing in this market, attracting clienteles of their own as reflected in privacy policies and the disclosure of such policies. With a few exceptions, actual disclosure and opt-out practices correspond reasonably well to stated policies in e-commerce. There is little evidence that the prevailing competitive regime induces a race to the bottom with respect to privacy standards and disclosures. We explore the implications of these results for the consequences of a competitive regime for regulation of financial reporting. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2003.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0021-8456|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0021-8456|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sunder, Shyam, 2002.
"Regulatory competition for low cost-of-capital accounting rules,"
Journal of Accounting and Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 147-149.
- Shyam NMI Sunder, 2002. "Regulatory Competition for Low Cost-of-capital Accounting Rules," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm305, Yale School of Management.
- S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
- Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
- Shyam Sunder & Matthew Cronin & Darrin Filer & Robert Kraut & James Morris & Rahul Telang & Proceedings the, 2002.
"Markets for Attention: Will Postage for Email Help?,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm394, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Oct 2008.
- Shyam NMI Sunder & Matthew A. Cronin & Robert E. Kraut & James Morris & Rahul Telang, 2002. "Markets for Attention: Will Postage for Email Help?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm301, Yale School of Management.
- Shyam NMI Sunder & Ronald A. Dye, 2001. "Why Not Allow the FASB and IASB Standards to Compete in the U.S.?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm192, Yale School of Management.
- Shyam Sunder, 2001. "Standards for Corporate Financial Reporting: Regulatory Competition Within and Across International Boundaries," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm245, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2002.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:41:y:2003:i:2:p:285-309. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.