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UK Consumers Not Risk Averse When Using Online Services According to New Report

Press release: “UK consumers are not as risk-averse when it comes to using online services as previously thought, according to recent research conducted by BT. Despite daily warnings about security threats and cyber-criminals, people are willing to take risks online, as long as they feel informed, and it is clear how consequences will be addressed. According to the findings from the Trustguide report, which was a collaborative research project by BT with support from the DTI, people use specific online services not because they trust them, but because they believe the benefits outweigh the risks. Government and private industry must therefore take responsibility for educating and reassuring the public that safeguards are in place, if they are to succeed with e-Government and e-Commerce initiatives..Based on the research, the Trustguide report outlines a set of guidelines to inform policy making and service development for ICT delivered services. In addition to enabling better-informed decision-making through education, and advising users of restitution and guarantee measures should something go wrong, the report highlights the need for greater honesty and transparency of data usage by service providers.

  • Trustguide Final Report, October 2006, by Hazel Lacohée, principal researcher at BT Group’s Chief Technology Office, and Andy Phippen, lecturer in socio-technical studies, University of Plymouth. (101 pages, PDF)
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