Internet Users' Security and Privacy While They Interact with Amazon

Giampaolo Bella, Lizzie Coles-Kemp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Amazon is the world's largest e-shopping site, with its market capitalization having just passed $100 billion [1]. Internet users interaction with its web site is an example of a widespread security ceremony - a ceremony focuses on security- related human interaction with technology, including security protocols and on-line service consumption [2]. This paper focuses on how Amazon's ceremony manages the users' security and privacy through the digital identities they may create with the popular web site. It leverages on the cognitive walkthrough method [3] to distill tasks, steps and walkthroughs of the ceremony, and then to pinpoint four risks affecting the users' security and privacy. It formulates four corresponding recommendations for technical web site updates that would resolve the noted risks. In particular, the recommendations address common contexts such as users accessing Amazon from their smartphones. A possible explanation of the coexistence of such risks with the late capitalization achievements is that users are more driven by familiarity and confidence than by trust. These findings are meant to be complemented with a homologous assessment from Amazon's standpoint.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom), 2011 IEEE 10th International Conference on
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4577-2135-9
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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