So you want to remain anonymous?

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 October 2003


Schwartz, D.G. (2003), "So you want to remain anonymous?", Internet Research, Vol. 13 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

So you want to remain anonymous?

So you want to remain anonymous?

Privacy and anonymity versus the need to identify and apprehend. Where do we draw the line? The social and legal debates will undoubtedly continue for years. But to make those debates relevant to our Internet reality we need actual implement options to support both sides of the debate. This issue of Internet Research begins with an article by Claessens et al., introducing the concept of "Revocable anonymous success to the Internet". After introducing us to the controversial social and legal questions, the authors present a detailed architectural and management scheme aimed at creating an online environment in which anonymity can be secured for the law-abiding, yet accurately revoked based on certain legal criteria.

Much of the research analysing Internet usage, user behaviour, and Web site design is focused on broad, all encompassing user populations. The disadvantage of studying Web sites as a whole, or users as a single mass, is that we lose the intricacies found amongst well-defined sub-sets. Two papers in this issue of Internet Research take a more focused approach to the analysis of Internet data. Choo and Marton present "Information seeking on the Web by women in IT professions". This study sheds light on four specific modes of information seeking based on an intensive study of 24 subjects. The second study "A model for monitoring public sector Web site strategy" by Lee, presents and tests a model for monitoring the Web site development process in the public sector. Lee's work extends that of Simeon's article, "Evaluating domestic and international Web site strategies" Internet Research, (Vol. 9 No. 4, 1999), which first introduced the AITD framework for Web site evaluation.

O’Neill and et al.'s article, "Disconfirming user expectations of the online service experience: inferred versus direct disconfirmation modeling", re-examines measurement techniques for online service quality. With quality of service taking a central role in almost every Internet-based service, taking a critical look at how quality is evaluated is long overdue.

The two cases that appear in this issue of Internet Research present different perspectives of new developments in mobile Internet applications. Luarn et al. present "An exploratory study of advancing mobilization in the life insurance industry: the case of Taiwan's Nan Shan Life Insurance Corporation". This case looks specifically at the need, implementation issues, and user reaction to fielding a mobile Internet application. Olla et al., provide us with the cellular carrier's perspective in "A case study of MMO2's MADIC: a framework for creating mobile Internet systems". Here the emphasis is on the broader considerations and procedures that a cellular carrier must deal with in building its portfolio of supported mobile Internet applications and services. As is often the case, sharing multiple perspectives makes us all a little wiser and being able to understand mobile internet considerations from the points of view of the carriers and corporate customers is most instructive.

David G. Schwartz