"Will privacy issues thwart the advent of electronic commerce?"

William Melton, president, CyberCash:

"No more than free speech and privacy in the physical world thwart commerce...The longer answer is that systems and protocols do have to be put in place that both protect privacy and and provide adequate auditability, that the individual concerns of privacy and the social concerns of lawful activity are balanced...the same levels of privacy that are guaranteed in the Constitution obviously should apply to the Internet space."

Dan Amdur, Internet market strategy analyst, The Yankee Group

"No, but what we're going to see is more of a recognition by private industry that they need to start tackling these issues (of privacy) so that the government doesn't step in, or at least (do so) too quickly and put a damper on electronic commerce. I really don't think that privacy is going to thwart on-line commerce; it's just an issue that needs to be addressed for this market to grow larger."

Peter Browne, svp, electronic security, First Union Corp.

"Yes, privacy certainly can negatively impact the rollout and the proliferation of electronic commerce. If the government is setting up an environment of either regulation and/or law which protects the privacy rights of individuals, then it should have a positive impact. If the government, however, is setting up a stifling regulatory or bureaucratic process, then it may not be so conducive."

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