This document tries to look at the issue of privacy in e-business. It looks at both insecure open environment and overly secure environment in doing e-business. Of importance in the discussion are the advantages and disadvantages of the two that will help in weighing and comparing; hence, selecting the best alternative.
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The whole discussion is about two key areas in doing business; Privacy and security. Sometimes we have invasions to privacy as well as insecurity issues in business. This calls for wise decision in selection. On the other hand, customers complain especially when they have no access to information about the company that they have invested in due to restrictions in the business.
This compromises the level of customer service and satisfaction. “Internet users including businesses are apprehensive about privacy and security” (Drumheller, 2008). Although the choice of either insecure open environment or overly secure environment is not simple due to associated advantages and disadvantages of each, businesses must decide to implement an e-commerce platform (Drumheller, 2008).
Insecure open environment
An insecure open environment ensures availability of services to customers without denial of any kind while paying little attention to security risks. According to Will (2011), insecure open environment allows customers to access information with ease. It does not need one to login first before accessing the information.
Strengths and weaknesses
Pondent (1999) says that, “businesses that have an online presence, can choose to operate in a secure and open environment, or in an insecure environment”. This means that any decision taken has both its strengths and weaknesses. Insecure open environment has a number of strengths.
It gives quality customer service hence, there is satisfaction among them. Corr (1999) compares overly secure environment to shuttering of a shop when customers wants to buy. This implies that an insecure open environment is more customers oriented than the latter.
Open environment helps customers in getting services at their own convenient time. Will (2011) supports insecure open environment due to its low implementation costs. In other words, this means minimizing operational expenses hence, more profit to the business; however, insecure open environment posses a lot of risks to the business.
According to Will (2011), the information can be breached by hackers or even crackers. Corr (1999), emphasizes on the inability for businesses, which operate day and night, to openly deal with security matters. This creates an avenue for fraud.
Overly secure environment
This kind of environment is restricted to access, whereby transactions are conducted in a secure manner. Data access is confidential and free from outside interception or misuse (Corr, 1999).
Strengths and weaknesses
It is secure. Corr (1999) talks of security in terms of digital certificates like of authority like ATM cards that verifies the identity of the certificate holder. One must login to access his/her account through the PIN number. Most of these contain owner’s name, key, and expiry date depending on the business. It is disadvantageous in that customers need to establish a login account to access information (Will, 2011). Also the cost of implementing it is higher as compared to insecure open environment.
The ethical issues that must be addressed in the selection process are; security. This protects the customers and the business information from misuse. Also privacy is important. Customer’s identification should be a secret. It should remain confidential. Trust is also very important. Customers need to trust their company in the way they conduct their business, and the lastly is the legal requirements (Byron, 2001).
An overly secure environment is the best. According to Drumheller (2008), “the secure site offers secure communication with its users via encryption, and protects their data via firewalls”. If the only options available are the two discussed above, the secured environment is the better alternative, because of the trust factor with customers, and the obvious security it provides.
However, assurances and precautions must be in place when disseminating information between parties in the business to protect them from loss, misuse and/or alterations at all times (Liu & Jajodia, 2010).
Byron, L. (2001). E-Business and E-Commerce. Gilroy, CA: CMP Books.
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Corr, S. (1999). Advantage of a secure open environment with e-commerce. New Mexico: Springer.
Drumheller, R. (2008). WS-Security Standard. Emeryville, CA: McGraw-Hill Osborne.
Liu, P., & Jajodia, S. (2010). Trusted Recovery and Defensive Information Warfare (Advances in Information Security). New Mexico: Springer.
Will, C. (2011). E-commerce: Privacy and security. New Mexico: Springer .