FTC forum: Internet users want cheap privacy

Thursday, 15 May 2003, 11:32 AM EST

Internet users want to keep their personal information private, but they want privacy tools to be cheap, easy to use and nearly invisible.

That was the consensus from a group of privacy experts at a forum on protecting personal information at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.

Most Internet users don't want to have to fiddle with settings on privacy products, they just want it to work, said Martin Abrams, executive director of the Center for Information Policy Leadership. "It has to work the way a toaster does," Abrams said of privacy tools. "Put in a slice of bread, and toast pops up."

Many Internet don't pay much attention to computer privacy because they don't know the dangers of viruses, worms and credit-card thieves lurking online, added Stephanie Perrin, president of Digital Discretion, a privacy consultancy.

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