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"The best way to fail is to never try." - Eac1687

Electronic Commerce

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.3 
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Initially, the Internet was designed to be used by government and academic users,


but now it is rapidly becoming commercialized.   It has on-line "shops", even


electronic "shopping malls".   Customers, browsing at their computers, can view


products, read descriptions, and sometimes even try samples.   What they lack is


the means to buy from their keyboard, on impulse.   They could pay by credit card,


transmitting the necessary data by modem; but intercepting messages on the


Internet is trivially easy for a smart hacker, so sending a credit-card number


in an unscrambled message is inviting trouble.   It would be relatively safe to


send a credit card number encrypted with a hard-to-break code.   That would


require either a general adoption across the internet of standard encoding


protocols, or the making of prior arrangements between buyers and sellers.   Both


consumers and merchants could see a windfall if these problems are solved.   For


merchants, a secure and easily divisible supply of electronic money will


motivate more Internet surfers to become on-line shoppers.   Electronic money


will also make it easier for smaller businesses to achieve a level of automation


already enjoyed by many large corporations whose Electronic Data Interchange


heritage means streams of electronic bits now flow instead of cash in back-end


financial processes.   We need to resolve four key technology issues before


consumers and merchants anoint electric money with the same real and perceived


values as our tangible bills and coins.   These four key areas are: Security,


Authentication, Anonymity, and Divisibility.






Commercial R&D departments and university labs are developing measures to


address security for both Internet and private-network transactions.   The


venerable answer to securing sensitive information, like...

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