Consumer Online Privacy
(59.38 female versus 47.38 male and 55.91 50+ yr. old versus 48.66 19-25yr. old).
What are the risks and benefits, to both consumers and commercial entities, of unsolicited commercial e-mail? What are consumers' perceptions, knowledge, and expectations regarding the risks and benefits of unsolicited commercial e-mail?
As evident in Figure 5 on page *, people dislike receiving mass emailings more than traditional mass postal mailings. But exactly do people deal with unsolicited mass emailings (a.k.a. spam)? Turns out that the most popular response to being spammed is to simply delete the message, an action which 46.28% of the people apparently do. Suprisingly, one in five people claim that they have never received any mass emailings (these people probably do not post to usenet news, a popular feeding ground for spammers). A significant number of people reply back to the sender requesting to be removed from future mailings. Only 9.88% actually read the message, a number which may suprise those entities that send the messages. Close to 4% of the people claim to retaliate in one form or another (mail bombs, denial-of-service attacks, etc.).
Gender differences exist on this issue, with over 30% of women claiming never to have been spammed compared to only 17% for men. This might be reflective of the bias towards male-focused products and services on the Web. As one might expect, the elder generation deletes more spam and retaliates less than the younger generation (49.83% 50+ yr. old delete versus 43.40% 19-25 yr. old and 1.49% 50+ yr. old retaliate versus 5.34% 19-25 yr. old).
From this survey, it is clear that people do not like to be receive mass emailings, , but what do they propose to do about it? As seen in Figure 8, the majority of people responded in favor of an opt-out system, where a registry would contain the addresses of people who do not wish to receive mass emailings. Note that is similar to the system already in place in the US that exists to remove people from junk mailing lists. Over 16% responded in favor of imposing an 'impact' fee on the agencies sending the mail. Exactly what this impact fee would be or how it would be implemented was not specified in the question. Somewhat suprisingly, only 5.89% voted in favor of government regulation making spamming illegal. This suggests that the online community favors the co-exitence of users and spammers, but with users having the final say. Women and the elder generation were more in favor of an opt-out registry than their counter-parts