Introduction: Privacy need for e-commerce businesses has prompted many companies to invest millions of dollars in security and privacy enhancement measures. The essence of this is to protect the customers and the business from intrusion by third parties. Customer information needs to be protected with a lot of discretion as it contains some sensitive personal data that when exposed third parties, this can pose significant risks. The items transacted by the customer also needs to be kept secret. For the organization, it is essential as well as to ensure that its activities remain secure and private. Terms of service is an important aspect that serves to enlighten the users of e-commerce website on their privacy and the information they share (Allen, Rotenberg, & Lampe, 2011). For this exercise, I am going to focus on some leading e-commerce businesses such as Amazon, Walmart an eBay. These businesses will form the basis for this discussion.
Research Question: How e-commerce companies address privacy in its policies?
Background: While organizational policies primarily serve as an internal and external guide for the business. In different countries, there are many laws that guide on how an organization can enact its policies and more so on privacy concerns for its employees and customers. However, in California, the Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 requires that the operators of stores or websites display privacy policies on their sites (Cooley Godward, 2004). Here the information to be presented include, type of information collected, how data is shared or disclosed, and time frame of the policy. It, therefore, becomes an essential point for the e-commerce businesses to include measures on how to enhance privacy in their websites and stores in order to ensure that there is no access of customer’s information by third parties.
Some of the critical ways to address privacy concerns in the company’s policies include making it known to the customers and employees of the company what is anticipated of them. It may sound something simple, but this requires a rigorous exercise of looking at possible issues that may create a loophole in privacy enhancement and hence coming up with a viable solution. For instance, if the threat to privacy is identified to be leaking of customer’s information by the organization’s employees, employees may be required to keep it private. The organization’s policy should include possible consequences for the same (Spencer, 2016). On the side of employees, informing employees on some essential concepts in their engagement may be one of the fundamental privacy enhancement moves. For the selected companies, I will focus on Amazon, and the company addresses privacy concerns by putting it clear on some obligations that a customer and the company has in ensuring that information shared remains private.
Allen, A. L., Rotenberg, M., & Lampe, R. (2011). Privacy law and society (p. 3). Thomson/West.
Cooley Godward, L. L. P. (2004). California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003. accessed October, 1, 2012.
Spencer, S. B. (2016). Predictive analytics, consumer privacy, and ecommerce regulation. In Research Handbook on Electronic Commerce Law. Edward Elgar Publishing.