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Prying Eyes

The cry has gone out from web surfers everywhere: "Stop looking at me!" How can your marketing plan respect their wishes?

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This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Nothing has quite stirred passions lately as much as the topic of Internet privacy. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic-whether you're talking to business owners or their customers. Even lawmakers are struggling to get a handle on the issue; more than a dozen bills proposing various regulations have already been introduced this year.

On one hand, you have your customers-who, incidentally, have become increasingly tech-savvy. They're now demanding greater restrictions on the use of their private data as well as accountability from the companies that collect it. Some even remain reluctant to engage in e-commerce altogether, fearful that their personal information may be shared with other businesses or government agencies down the line.

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