It would require an extraordinary set of blinders not to recognize that American consumers are increasingly privacy-conscious. Survey data bear out that consumers are concerned about threats to their privacy and about whether they have lost control of information they consider personal and private.

When a privacy issue-identity theft-is the premise for a hit movie starring Sandra Bullock, "The Net," I do not think it is productive to continue to debate whether privacy is a major consumer issue, or to suggest that customer concerns are merely "anecdotal." The question must be, rather, how the issue can be credibly addressed, and how fast that can be done.

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