Privacy Protection Overseas as Perceived by USA-Based IT Professionals

Privacy Protection Overseas as Perceived by USA-Based IT Professionals

Jaymeen R. Shah (Texas State University — San Marcos, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-138-4.ch003
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Privacy laws for the Internet are difficult to develop and implement domestically and internationally. A clear problem is how such laws are limited to national jurisdictions. What is legal in one country may be illegal in another. Due to differences in cultures and values, and government types, it may not be possible to establish global standards and legislations to ensure privacy. Due to the nonexistence of global privacy standards, multinational (international) companies usually select one of the following two possible solutions: (1) implement a most restrictive “one size fits all” privacy policy that is used across various countries, or (2) implement different privacy policies that meet the privacy regulations of different countries and expectations of those citizens. In order to investigate a solution that may be used by multinational companies, and how companies view domestic privacy laws, the authors conducted a survey of U.S.-based employees of domestic and multinational companies. The results of the survey suggest that the majority of the multinational companies prefer the first solution—most restrictive “one size fits all” approach. They develop and implement a single set of privacy policies that is used across their operations in different countries. The majority of the companies surveyed consider domestic privacy laws in the United States to be practical, but ineffective.
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Computer technologies, especially the Internet, have created an electronically connected global community. The Internet and World Wide Web allow easy collection and distribution of information across the globe. Use of the World Wide Web has exponentially increased over the past few years. It is used by businesses as an important sales and communications channel, and by consumers for information research and e-shopping. The free flow of information is one of the most essential requirements for the economic growth of any organization (Oz, 1994).

Information on a Web page can be viewed and accessed from across national and judicial boundaries. Such universal access to Web pages allows businesses to market their products across the globe using the Web. When consumers shop on the Web, they are required to enter personally identifiable information such as their name, address, and credit card number. This personally identifiable information may be transmitted across the boundaries of states and countries depending upon the locations of the customer and the Web server hosting the Web site. Transmitting data around the world has become necessary for international business (Oz, 1994). A major issue for global e-traders is privacy (Chandran, Phatak, & Sambharya, 1987; Zuckerman, 2001). Such an issue can threaten the growth of e-commerce. Surveys have indicated that consumers have become concerned about privacy on the Internet, to such an extent, that 61% of the users refuse to shop online (Ryker, Lafleur, Mcmanis, & Cox, 2002).

The Internet has promoted direct interactions between businesses and their customers, irrespective of their locations around the world. There are no immigration or customs checks. Data flows across the globe just as it flows across a local area network. However, this has created a new problem with consumer and employee privacies as existing privacy laws do not seem to adequately address the privacy issues across geographical boundaries. Further, privacy laws across different countries differ (Zuckerman, 2001). For example, in many countries the data is owned by the data collector (e.g., United States), while in other countries, the data is owned by the person concerned (e.g., European Union). Another difference is how the laws govern the operations of law enforcement agencies and telecommunication services. This brings up the question as to how multinational companies deal with and perceive the patchwork of privacy laws that exist across the various countries of their operations. The primary purpose of this research is to answer this question.

We will first discuss the threats to privacy from the increased use of the Internet and e-commerce. Next, we will provide an overview of privacy laws of some countries. This will provide a perspective about the extent to which privacy laws differ across countries around the globe. We then discuss the survey methodology, followed by a discussion of the results of the survey.

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
M. Gordon Hunter, Felix B. Tan
Chapter 1
Alexander Y. Yap
Why are some countries successful with e-commerce while others flounder? This chapter is an update of an earlier research study that the authors... Sample PDF
A Composite Model for E-Commerce Diffusion: Revisited
Chapter 2
Robert M. Davison, Yuan Li, Carol S.P. Kam
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Data Collection in China
Chapter 3
Jaymeen R. Shah
Privacy laws for the Internet are difficult to develop and implement domestically and internationally. A clear problem is how such laws are limited... Sample PDF
Privacy Protection Overseas as Perceived by USA-Based IT Professionals
Chapter 4
Hongxin Zhao, Seung Kim, Taewon Suh, Jianjun Du
This study attempts to examine empirically how social institutional factors relate to Internet diffusion in 39 countries. Based on nine-year... Sample PDF
Social Institutional Explanations of Global Internet Diffusion: A Cross-Country Analysis
Chapter 5
Somya Joshi, Michael Barrett, Geoff Walsham, Sam Cappleman
This article investigates how, and with what success, global organisations design computer-based systems for knowledge sharing which aim to balance... Sample PDF
Balancing Local Knowledge Within Global Organisations Through Computer-Based Systems: An Activity Theory Approach
Chapter 6
Kevin K.W. Ho, Byungjoon Yoo, Seunghee Yu, Kar Yan Tam
While previous studies on buy-it-now (BIN) auctions focus on the impact of BIN format on economic performances, our study focuses on factors that... Sample PDF
The Effect of Culture and Product Categories on the Level of Use of Buy-It-Now (BIN) Auctions by Sellers
Chapter 7
Shirish C. Srivastava, Thompson S.H. Teo
Though policy makers and governments are interested in understanding the returns from e-Government implementation, there are relatively few... Sample PDF
A Framework for Understanding Returns from E-Government
Chapter 8
Juan Juan Zhang, Sang-Yong Tom Lee
This article studies the role of international spillover of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic growth. We examine the... Sample PDF
A Time Series Analysis of International ICT Spillover
Chapter 9
William Wresch, Simon Fraser
Studies summarized by the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development continue to show that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing... Sample PDF
Technological Hurdles to Caribbean E-Commerce: Responses by Innovative Managers
Chapter 10
Robert M. Davidson, Carol S.P. Kim, Maggie Y. Li, Yuan Li, Carol X.J. Ou
In the last few years, Web-based surveys have received increased attention given their potential to cut the costs and time associated with... Sample PDF
Web-Based Surveys in China
Chapter 11
David Gefen, Tsipi Heart
Deliberate exploitation of natural resources and excessive use of environmentally abhorrent materials have resulted in environmental disruptions... Sample PDF
On the Need to Include National Culture as a Central Issue in E-Commerce Trust Beliefs
Chapter 12
Steven Hornik
The horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism are an important characteristic of cultures. These dimensions have many... Sample PDF
Culture's Impact on Technology Mediated Learning: The Role of Horizontal and Vertical Individualism and Collectivism
Chapter 13
Tamara Dinev, Massimo Bellotto, Paul Hart, Vincenzo Russo, Ilaria Serra, Christian Colautti
The study examines differences in individual’s privacy concerns and beliefs about government surveillance in Italy and the United States. By... Sample PDF
Internet Users' Privacy Concerns and Beliefs About Government Surveillance: An Exploratory Study of Differences Between Italy and the United States
Chapter 14
Shaobo Ji, Qingfei Min, Weihe Han
The purpose of this study is to review current research activities concerning information systems (IS) in mainland China. We thus examined Chinese... Sample PDF
Information Systems Research in China: An Empirical Study
Chapter 15
John Lim
Two seemingly disparate phenomena, advancement in computing technologies and rise in complexity of business negotiations owing to globalization... Sample PDF
A Study in the East Asian Context on Computer Support of Pre-Negotiation and Negotiation Stages
Chapter 16
Sang-Woo Lee, Myeong-Cheol Park, Dan J. Kim
This study relies on a customer demand-based view to examine how mobile number portability affects competition in the Korean mobile... Sample PDF
Mobile Number Portability in an Asymmetric Telecommunications Market: Korea Case
Chapter 17
Hazel Taylor
As outsourced and multinational IT projects become more common, managing risks for these projects is increasingly important. The research reported... Sample PDF
Vendor vs. Client Risks in Outsourced IT Projects: An Agency Theory Perspective
Chapter 18
Susan K. Lippert, John A. Volkmar
Research to date on information technology (IT) adoption has focused primarily on homogeneous single country samples. This study integrates the... Sample PDF
Cultural Effects on Technology Performance and Utilization: A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Users
Chapter 19
Thompson S.H. Teo
The Internet can be used for different purposes ranging from simple Internet presence to using the Internet for business transformation. This study... Sample PDF
Basic vs. Advanced Modes of Internet Adoption: A Singapore Perspective
Chapter 20
Clive Sanford, Anol Bhattacherjee
This article presents an interpretive analysis of the key problems and challenges to technology implementation in developing countries, based on a... Sample PDF
IT Implementation in a Developing Country Municipality: A Sociocognitive Analysis
Chapter 21
Susan A. Sherer
This article investigates IT investment management processes in the U.S. and Portugal. In Portugal compared to the United States, we find less... Sample PDF
Comparative Study of IT Investment Management Processes in U.S. and Portugal
Chapter 22
Ruey-Lin Hsiao
This article examines e-marketplace adoption difficulties from a contextualist perspective. The analysis of industrial characteristics will unearth... Sample PDF
Misaligned Market: The Importance of Industry Context in Technology-Mediated Exchanges
Chapter 23
Syaiful Ali, Peter Green
Information technology plays a significant role enabling organisations to achieve their objectives. Accordingly, the governance mechanisms over the... Sample PDF
IT Governance Mechanisms in Public Sector Organisations: An Australian Context
Chapter 24
Shirley Chan
In most parts of the world, it is generally considered impolite or even rude to pick up an incoming mobile phone call and to have a longer (and... Sample PDF
Mobile Phone Communication Innovation in Multiple Time and Space Zones: The Case of Hong Kong Culture
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