Whether one is signing up for internet service with Internet Service Provider (ISP), sending emails, browsing internet sites, or using a search engine to locate required information, the identity of the machine is being shared, and it can be misused by someone masquerading as someone else (Webliminal.com, 2007) 2. In addition, many businesses gather and store personal information of the potential new and existing customers in their systems which give rise to privacy and information security issues. When anyone attempts to make a payment online using credit cards and other instruments, the security and confidentiality of the transaction is perhaps, the biggest concern.
Owing to above, users are reluctant to utilise the full potential of internet and web based application systems. Grimm and Rossnagel (2000)3 have introduced a new standard "The 'Platform for Privacy Preferences Project' (P3P) is a standardisation approach of the World Wide Web Consortium for the privacy protection of the web". It guarantees that a user selects and accepts only those services that satisfy his/ her privacy criteria. This is helpful in reducing incidents of compromise of private information.
There are many ways of implementing security over th...
Many organisations now employ encryption mechanism like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for transmission security and Digital Certificates to ensure non-repudiation and third party assurance in the form of digital certificate (Newmann, 2003) 4.
"Unlike privacy protection law, privacy protection technology is effective worldwide and, unlike legislators, its providers and users are fast learning systems which are able to respond quickly to new technical challenges" (Grimm, R., Rossnagel, A. in article "Can P3P Help to Protect Privacy Worldwide" ACM Multimedia Workshop proceedings)
In addition to security and privacy, information ethics in the modern electronic commerce environment have become a yardstick to measure the business philosophy and conduct of individuals and organisations. An ethical problem can be defined as the argument with regard to one's values, in selecting one of the two paths based on the pressure and demands of a situation (Charlesworth Sewry, 2002, p.163) 5.
"An ethical problem expresses the conflict between the demands and pressures of a given situation and the values of a concerned individual" (Charlesworth, M., Sewry, D. (2002) "Ethical Issues in Enabling Information Technology". Proceedings of SAICIST. Rhodes University)
Ethical issues are classified into some categories as follow:
Individual responsibility - the ethical responsibilities that are common to all individuals regardless of family, race, ethnic origin etc.
Professional responsibility - the responsibilities that various professional associations and individuals have to undertake towards the profession in general.
Access and equity - concerns the use of technology on unbiased grounds; that is, free from the biases of gender, economic status, etc.
Quality of life - this