WebTrust service uses an approach similar to financial statements attestation to provide assurance services to web hosts. Prior research generally supports CPAs’ qualifications and abilities in offering such services, but rarely explains the limited success of this endeavor. Based on a conceptual model, this study evaluates the demand side of web assurance services. Research questionnaires were used to gather information from consumers and business firms in Taiwan via the Internet. Our results show that consumers have fundamental understanding of web assurance seals and recognize the importance of web assurance services. However, only a portion of consumers are willing to pay additional costs for the assurance provided by web seals. In addition, CPAs have advantages in credibility and objectivity over other web assurance providers, and are more suitable in providing privacy assurance. An expectation gap exits, however, between consumers and web assurance providers. When offering such services, a provider may face the potential risk of lawsuit and should address the issue properly. The above results have implications for the WebTrust service providers in realigning their strategies in the web assurance market.
Chen, Jiin-Feng and Wang, Piin-Jier, "A Demand-side Evaluation of Web Assurance Services: An Empirical Study on AICPA/CICA WebTrust Services" (2007). ICEB 2007 Proceedings (Taipei, Taiwan). 78.