E-commerce Fundamentals  «Prev 

Intellectual Property, Confidentiality, taxation, customs, regulations, fraud, security, trust

Global Diffusion of the Internet

Starting with just a few countries in 1990, the number of countries connected to the Internet crossed 200 by mid- 1998 and 214 in 2000. The number of machines connected to the Internet varies widely across the world. In North America, where the Internet originated, has over 182 million users, accounting for 30% of the world's users but only 5.6% of the world's population. Europe, with its early connection to the ARPANET, currently has the highest number of Internet users (more than 190 million). Asia and the Pacific, with over 60% of the world's population, are experiencing some of the most rapid growth in recent years and are expected to double their number of Internet users by 2005.

Internet Regulations

The possibility of regulations designed to mandate the neutrality of the Internet has been subject to fierce debate around the world. Internet regulation is basically restricting or controlling access to certain aspects or information. Internet regulation consists of the following elements: Censorship of data, and controlling aspects of the Internet such as domain registration, IP address control .

Protecting intellectual property becomes a problem when it is so easy to duplicate information and create illegal copies of copyright protected material.

Mechanisms to pay for goods and services online and the introduction of new products and services add additional risk to sending financial information over the network. The confidential transmission of data is critical.

Assume a Web user living in Illinois buys something from a website in California. Is the purchase taxed? If so does, the buyer pay Illinois or California sales taxes?

Distributed Networks: Intelligence
The Internet spans national boundaries. Can web users buy a product outlawed in one country from a website in another country if the product is legal in the country hosting the website?
Question: What are the rules?

Government bodies and regulators may enforce restrictions that invade privacy or hinder security.
Question: What are the rules?

The U.S. Electronic Funds Transfer Act stipulates a limited liability of $50 to the cardholder in case of fraud. In e-commerce, what are the legal protections against unauthorized or fraudulent transactions?

E-Commerce Management
Authentication, nonrepudiation, accountability, and physical delivery are all handled somewhat differently under the e-commerce solutions now in place. When will a consistent baseline be available?

If a web-based business is easy to set up, it is just as easy to tear down. In traditional transactions, the buyer and seller asses each other before compiling the transaction.
Question: How does a new web business assure customers that it will be there when they need service or support?

If this is an advantage, it is also a risk. What happens to business opportunities that might be lost through service disruption?