Consumers willing to accept online behavior tracking for fraud detection

The remaining survey respondents were divided in their sentiments: 24% said they don’t think behavioral targeting in any form is appropriate, whereas 26% said it is okay for online businesses to use their information to either send them ads or monitor potential fraudsters.

“Consumers are willing to allow information to be used to profile their devices for purposes of stopping fraud, but absolutely in no way want the merchant or bank to share that information with the advertising networks. That came out loud and clear in this study”, said Reed Taussig, president and chief executive of ThreatMetrix.

A total of 607 adult-aged US consumers who use the Internet participated in the study titled Consumer’s Reaction to Online Fraud. More than 60% of respondents have been using the Internet or emailing for more than 10 years, and 46% are active users of social networks.

When asked about the extent of obtaining consent to use their online behavioral information for fraud detection, only 16% said advance consent was necessary for each transaction. One third said consent was not necessary at all, while the majority (36%) said consent only once in advance is sufficient.

Consumers said that were most confident about banks protecting their personal information and least confident about social networks and online businesses. “Consumers are more comfortable supplying personally identifiable information to a bank than they are to a social networking site or an online merchant”, Taussig told Infosecurity.

Around 70% of respondents reported that if they were assured their personal information was not collected when used for fraud detection purposes, they were comfortable with an online business authenticating their identity through computer-based authentication or a digital fingerprint. Another 22% said they were unsure.

When it comes to disclosing the use of a digital fingerprint, three in four consumers indicated that disclosure is not necessary, or only if such disclosure does not reduce the business’s ability to fight cybercrime.

On top of that, 82% of consumers indicated that they would expect an online business to use alternative methods to verify their identity if they were unable to match their computer’s digital fingerprint to their security system.

“Another thing that stood out the most to me in the survey was the result that consumers prefer sharing information about their device for authentication purposes rather than providing personal information”, said Taussig. “Consumers want to have strong authentication on the internet in order to protect themselves from online fraud, but they resent having to provide information such as social security numbers or driver’s license numbers”, he added.

The survey found that 57% of consumers believe that online businesses are not taking enough precautions to protect them from cybercriminals.

“Consumers have positive perceptions about the use of authentication and fraud detection as a way to prevent online fraud. They also prefer sharing information about their device for authentication purposes as opposed to sharing personal information to verify their identity”, the report concluded.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?