Trust and Risk in Internet Commerce

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As Internet-based commerce becomes commonplace, it is important that we examine the systems used for these financial transactions. Underlying each system is a set of assumptions,particularly about trust and risk. To evaluate systems, and thus to determine one's own risks,requires an understanding of the dimensions of trust: security, privacy, and reliability.In this book Jean Camp focuses on two major yet frequently overlooked issues in the design of Internet commerce systems—trust and risk. Trust and risk are closely linked. The level of risk can be determined by looking at who trusts whom in Internet commerce transactions. Who will pay, in terms of money and data, if trust is misplaced? When the inevitable early failures occur, who will be at risk? Who is "liable" when there is a trusted third party? Why is it necessary to trust this party? What exactly is this party trusted to do? To answer such questions requires an understanding of security, record-keeping, privacy, and reliability.The author's goal is twofold: first, to provide information on trust and risk to businesses that are developing electronic commerce systems; and second, to help consumers understand the risks in using the Internet for purchases and show them how to protect themselves. Rather than propose a single model of an Internet commerce system, the author provides the information and insights needed by merchants and consumers as they develop the Internet for commerce.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Camp (government, Harvard Univ.) examines in detail how financial transactions succeed and fail on the Internet. She illustrates how to evaluate risk and reliability in current systems, how to protect oneself financially online, and where e-commerce might go. She specifically covers money, cryptography, threats, key management, privacy, data reporting, transactions, Internet commerce systems, Internet currencies, and the coming collapse in Internet commerce. By no means light reading, this is still highly recommended for large public and university libraries. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262531979
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

L. Jean Camp is Assistant Professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction 1
1 The Internet 5
What Is the Internet? 5
What Are Its Origins? 6
Where Is the Internet? 9
Who Is on the Internet? 14
How Does the Internet Work? 18
Layers of Protocol and Stages of a Transaction 30
Commercial Transactions 31
Evaluating Information On-line 36
Pricing and Quality in Internet Commerce 40
Convergence and the Internet 43
2 Money 47
Functions of Money 47
Digital Information Money 51
Money Vendors 54
3 Basic Cryptography 57
Private Key Cryptography 60
Public Key Cryptography 61
Hash Functions 63
4 Security Goals 65
Threats to Electronic Information Systems 66
Confidentiality 68
Availability 70
Scalability 72
Authentication 73
Integrity 75
Nonrepudiation 76
5 Key Management Is Trust Management 79
Symmetric Key Management 80
Asymmetric Key Management 83
Digital Certificates 83
Key Length 92
Pseudonymity and Anonymity 93
Microdata Security 95
6 Privacy Perspectives 99
Law Enforcement: Trust Us 101
The Business Community: Trust Me 105
System Designers: Ignore Me 107
Social Critics: Trust for the Common Good 108
Europeans: Limit Trust 110
7 Privacy in Law, Privacy in Practice 115
State Law 117
Federal Law 121
Privacy and Information Technology 130
8 Data Reporting: Trusting the Government 145
Required Information Reporting 145
Reporting Examples 152
Reconsidering Requirements 157
Cryptography Policy 163
Disclosure Summary 166
9 Transactions 169
Reliability 170
Scalability 174
Divisibility 175
Interoperability 176
Open Systems, Standards, and Protocols 179
10 Examination of Internet Commerce Systems 183
Distinctions among Commerce Systems 184
Analyses of Various Systems 186
Example Analyses 190
Credit Cards: A Notational System 190
Cash: A Token System 199
Summary 204
11 Internet Currencies 207
Notational Currencies 207
First Virtual 207
Secure Sockets Layer 215
Secure Electronic Transaction 220
Token Currencies 230
Digicash 232
MicroMint 237
Millicent 246
Summary 250
12 The Coming Collapse in Internet Commerce 255
References 263
Index 275
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