Identity crisis hits e-commerce

Worries about identity theft among consumers may be undermining their confidence in e-commerce.

Worries about identity theft among consumers may be undermining their confidence in e-commerce.

Research among 1,950 consumers showed that almost half feared their personal identity was at risk, with nearly a third of those questioned in London saying they had direct or indirect experience of identity theft. The figure was almost a fifth of respondents in most other areas.

The YouGov poll conducted on behalf of marketing company the Glasshouse Partnership found that just under a half of respondents were concerned about buying goods on the internet.

Almost two-thirds wanted the police to do more about tackling identity theft, but nearly three-quarters accepted that personal responsibility also played a role in fighting the crime.

Over three-quarters wanted the banks to do more and the same amount also wanted companies generally to spend more on IT security systems.

Consumers' concerns about the privacy of their personal details are also feeding into their attitudes about the government's proposed national identity card scheme.

Just a third believed it was a useful tool in the fight against terrorism or an efficient way to tackle identity theft. And only a fifth trusted the government not to abuse the information held in the mammoth database.

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