UK web users fear privacy invasion

UK web users fear privacy invasion

Online shopping and dating web sites are key areas of concern, says study

The UK public fears online fraud and privacy invasion but are ill-informed about the rules that protect them, according to research.

The Switched On report conducted by the Ofcom Consumer Panel - an independent body that advises the communications regulator - lists immoral web merchants as a key concern for internet users, along with paedophiles and people who lie on dating sites. Members of the public also told researchers that they felt "under siege" from web and telephone spam.

These worries present a serious issue for the communications technology sector, according to Anna Bradley, chair of the panel.

"Service providers, regulators and other policy makers need to give consumers greater confidence that the risks are well managed," said Bradley.

"In addition, we need to help consumers understand about the existing protections, make the residual risks clear to them and help them to make their own electronic environment safer.”