Is More Government Regulation Needed to Promote E-commerce?

Privacy and Security

Article Snapshot


Robert W. Hahn and Anne Layne-Farrar


Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, Fall 2002


This paper asks if concerns about privacy are holding back e-commerce.

Policy Relevance

The evidence does not show a need for more e-commerce regulation, which could hinder growth.

Main Points

  • Concerns about privacy and security are not a significant deterrent to e-commerce.


  • Supporters of more regulation often base their arguments on surveys which are speculative or which use data selectively. 


  • Concerns about online privacy and offline privacy seem to be about the same.


  • E-commerce is growing rapidly, in a pattern typical of new technologies.

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