Second USENIX Workshop on Electronic Commerce
On Shopping Incognito
Ralf Hauser, McKinsey Consulting
Gene Tsudik, University of Southern California
The increasing popularity and importance of electronic commerce makes
very apparent the issue of privacy and anonymity for electronic
consumers. Technologies are already in existence that offer some
degree of electronic privacy, e.g., electronic/digital cash. However,
the mere fact that electronic commerce is conducted over existing
network infrastructure (such as the global Internet) runs counter to
the privacy of the consumer. This is due mainly to the end-to-end
nature of application protocols that are used as vehicles for
electronic commerce -- World-Wide Web (WWW), Electronic Mail, File
Transfer Protocols and others.
In this paper we discuss the issue of consumer anonymity and propose
some solutions for the activities that typically "surround"
electronic payment: pre-purchase browsing and merchandise delivery.
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