Enforced Standards Versus Evolution by General Acceptance: A Comparative Study of E-Commerce Privacy Disclosure and Practice in the United States and the United Kingdom

24 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Karim Jamal

Karim Jamal

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems

Date Written: 2004-08-13

Abstract

We present data on privacy practices in e-commerce under the European Union`s formal regulatory regime prevailing in the United Kingdom and compare it with the data from a previous study of U.S. practices that evolved in the absence of government laws or enforcement. The codification by the E.U. law, and the enforcement by the U.K. government, improves neither the disclosure nor the practice of e-commerce privacy relative to the United States. Regulation in the United Kingdom also appears to stifle development of a market for Web assurance services. Both U.S. and U.K. consumers continue to be vulnerable to a small number of e-commerce Web sites that spam their customers, ignoring the latter`s expressed or implied preferences. These results raise important questions about finding a balance between enforced standards and conventions in financial reporting. In the second half of the 20th century, financial reporting has been characterized by both a preference for legislated standards and a lack of faith in its evolution as a body of social conventions. Evidence on whether this faith in standards over conventions is justified remains to be marshaled.

Suggested Citation

Jamal, Karim, Enforced Standards Versus Evolution by General Acceptance: A Comparative Study of E-Commerce Privacy Disclosure and Practice in the United States and the United Kingdom (2004-08-13). Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 43, pp. 73-96, March 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=876664 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-679x.2004.00163.x

Karim Jamal (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
780-492-5829 (Phone)
780-492-3325 (Fax)

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