Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Protecting Personal Privacy

Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

PRIVACYnotes provides a forum for web professionals who deal with the sometimes volatile issue of respecting and protecting the most valuable information their company can possess: personally identifiable customer data. On PRIVACYnoteswe cover a diverse range of issues -- from e-mail marketing (andspam)
to the importance of security toward protecting customer privacy.

Lapses in security or disregard for customer privacy have led to some high-profile bad press for large companies, who have dramatically learned the danger of publicly exposing even a small amount of customer information.

  • Do you use "cookies" on your site?
  • Have you asked permission to contact (not spam) customers via e-mail?
  • Is your customer database "hacker-proof"?
  • Where do you stand on .NET or the Liberty Alliance?
  • Are you protected from cyber-terrorism?
  • Do you favor an opt-in or opt-out policy?
  • What are "web bugs"?
  • Is "data-mining" advisable... cost effective... legal?
  • Do you know the latest requirements for customer access?
  • Have you assigned a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) for your business?

These are the hot-button issues that can make or break a web business, and you can't afford to be ignorant of any of them -- whether you are the webmaster of a micro-business with a ten page site, or the corporate CIO in charge of multiple web properties.

Posted privacy policies accessible from the most prominent pages of a business web site are now mandated by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States.

Most web site visitors fail to read a posted privacy policy so the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) http://www.w3.org/ has initiated the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) http://www.w3.org/P3P/.
Standards are being developed for a default browser function that will notify visitors of the strictness of your privacy policy and warn them if you don't honor their preferences.

We've discussed these issues in a lively manner with minimal technical jargon, so even the layman and small business webmaster can understand. Although our discussion list is no longer active, it contains extensive information with links to news and privacy resources for those interested in privacy issues. Articles are added on an ongoing basis as new issues are covered. Please feel free to suggest resources and submit articles for reproduction here.Privacy Policy ;-)

PRIVACYnotes Moderator: Mike Banks Valentine

Mike Banks Valentine is a champion of the true small online business. He advocates a do-it-yourself approach to e-commerce through online learning for the small office, home office (SOHO) or emerging entrepreneur who lacks major venture capital funding or corporate marketing budgets.

Mike is the founder of WebSite101, an educational resource for small businesses creating initial Web presences. His writing has appeared in international publications and his work praised by Entrepreneur Magazine. He does small business web marketing and search engine optimization.

Contact Mike Banks Valentine

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posted by RealitySEO at 3:58 PM


Blogger Mark Hearne said...

Build trust in your business by enforcing a strict privacy policy. The public's privacy is under threat from well meaning but very badly organised and leaky government departments.
A simple privacy policy is to never give your customers data to anyone. Asign ownership of the customers data to the customer.
Be careful with customer data. Dont leave it on unsecure machines.
In a word, build trust by being trustworthy.

5:40 AM  

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