|The Small Business Library|
March 15, 2000
Unfortunately, most site owners overlook publication of a Privacy Statement or see it as an inconvenience. You may argue that visitors donít even notice, much less read, privacy policies. That may have been true, but expectations and demands are changing. The Internet population is getting more savvy as high-profile incidents erode trust and consumers become more cautious.
And most importantly, if you collect personally identifiable or confidential information, you should explain how you will protect it from unintentional disclosure or with whom you will share it. You should also provide a way for users to correct errors or opt-out of any lists or databases.
Though customer data is highly valued currency on the Internet, if you respect the consumer's ultimate ownership of that data, then you are cultivating a lasting relationship that will prove more valuable over time.
You can find help creating a Privacy Statement with the tools and samples found at TrustE.Org, BBBOnline, SecureAssure.Com and Enonymous.Com.
Until the rest of the Web catches on, it might -- if nothing else -- distinguish you from your competitors.
Article by Bob Sonner of WebVeil. Bob, a former Naval Officer, has been a freelance Web programmer and Internet consultant for two years. WebVeil provides plain-talk advice to consumers and Web surfers looking for reasonable answers to their privacy concerns and will soon "unveil" a new service to assist users in achieving that privacy.