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Consumer Internet Confidence

By bmetzler in News
Thu Feb 17, 2000 at 12:50:40 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

H&R Block has been forced to shutdown it's online tax-preparation Web site after tax data from several consumers was exposed. This talks about the goof-up, but it also brings up some good points about consumer confidence with the internet.

Are the many blunders made by web sites, and the recent internet attacks, as well as an increased knowledge of the seeming lack of security affecting the confidence consumers have in the internet? What should be done to fix the problem and reassure consumers? How will not dealing with the problem affect e-commerce, and peoples use of the internet?

Over the last years, with well-known names like Amazon, and eBay, e-commerce has made a big impact on society. People are using the web like they've never before. It has almost become a normal part of society, that you'd go to amazon.com, just as easily that you'd go to the local brick and mortar bookstore.

These are real problems that need to be dealt with as the internet, and e-commerce, become more important in our economy. Will lack of consumer confidence have the affect of restraining the progress that's been made online?


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Consumer Internet Confidence | 5 comments (5 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
It's a good article. And coupled w... (none / 0) (#3)
by ramses0 on Thu Feb 17, 2000 at 01:08:23 PM EST

ramses0 voted 1 on this story.

It's a good article. And coupled with the information posted previously (about SQL hacking and CGI issues) it makes you wonder what malicious people can do. IMHO, the internet is a toy that is becoming more and more useful each day. It's important to remember that it's still a toy.
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]

Here is a thought: The (US) Federal... (none / 0) (#2)
by joeyo on Thu Feb 17, 2000 at 01:14:15 PM EST

joeyo voted 1 on this story.

Here is a thought: The (US) Federal Gov't has an electronic tax filing service that you can use. Indeed, this is what many of the tax-preparation programs interface with. But in order to properly prepare your taxes you have to input much more information than you would if you were just filling out the forms by hand. How much of this is going to the gov't?

"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

egg.com are another group that goof... (none / 0) (#4)
by hattig on Thu Feb 17, 2000 at 01:20:36 PM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

egg.com are another group that goofed up on security. reasonably interesting, though well trod territory.

The Internet architecture was never... (none / 0) (#1)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Feb 17, 2000 at 02:32:12 PM EST

Paul Dunne voted 1 on this story.

The Internet architecture was never meant to be secure in the way it's expected to be nowadays, so this issue isn't going to go away.

Average Joe Stupid .. (none / 0) (#5)
by Inoshiro on Fri Feb 18, 2000 at 07:38:03 PM EST

"Are the many blunders made by web sites, and the recent internet attacks, as well as an increased knowledge of the seeming lack of security affecting the confidence consumers have in the internet?"

The thing is, people like us (those smart enough to understand the issues), are going to see insecure sites for what they are -- places to not go. Joe Stupid with Jane Moron and their little clan of inbred hicks are the "average" 65%-educated part of society today. They will have a tougher time learning that going to a shoddy website is just like going to a store where the money and credit card information is stored in a paper bag behind the counter, where anyone who feels like bending over can snag it. Once they realise this, they'll go to secure, proper sites, and stop sending their credit card info via plaintext emails.. Until then, expect more blind stupidity from the media and people in general.

And as for the internet "having an effect," I think that's a bit overstated. A very small fraction of society has the money for the technology, much less the time to use it. Remember when you first compiled a program to do a lot of repetitive things quickly for you? That's a great feeling. And the only reason the "dotcom" stocks are soaring, is because other people (who are not programmers and such) are starting to feel this, but from little things like Visual Basic(r) and Yahoo!(r). They're starting to hype to their other "knowledge-impaired" friends all the great benefits of using technology as a way of reducing your workload, although they generally distort it into making you work faster, and thus increasing their workloads.

Give people a few more years, say 10 to 20, then we'll see some true understanding of technology reach critical mass where it matters -- because the current generation of Linux hackers will have matured and taken over by then. World Domination and all that ;-)

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Consumer Internet Confidence | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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