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    Wall Street Journal: UK Consumers Shun Online Paywalls – KPMG Survey

    The Wall Street Journal reports on a new consumer survey about paying for online content in the United Kingdom from KPMG that includes a discussion of privacy. Online consumer privacy is a hot topic in the United States: Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) has introduced a privacy bill (pdf) called the Best Practices Act of 2010. This bill comes a couple months after Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) and Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) released a discussion draft of a new privacy bill.

    U.K. consumers are less willing than global peers to pay for digital content but more receptive to targeted advertising, according to a survey by advisory firm KPMG.

    In the U.K., 81% of those polled for KPMG’s annual report into how consumers use technology said they would go elsewhere if a previously free website started to charge, leaving just 19% willing to pay. That’s far below the 43% of consumers globally willing to pay, which rises to 59% of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.

    In the U.K., The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International, recently began to charge online; Murdoch has long argued that news publishers should charge for content on their websites that for years they have been giving away for free. […]

    Still, privacy concerns remain even as mobile commerce and profile tracking become more familiar. Nearly 90% of consumers globally are concerned about privacy; in the U.K., 88% worry about online security and 86% about privacy, little changed over the last 18 months.

    KPMG’s Aw said “the twin issues of inadequate privacy and poor security are definitely uppermost in consumers’ minds, and may be holding back the further development of the internet as a commercial tool.”

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