In his keynote speech at PC Expo 99 in New York this week Microsoft executive vice president Bob Herold said the software giant will support tools and standards that encourage companies to post comprehensive privacy policies. This Herold said would increase customer confidence and trust in the Internet.
"Inadequate privacy protection is a top barrier to the continued growth of ecommerce," Herbold said. "Our goal is to provide the leadership, expertise and technologies to help move the industry forward on this front."
IBM announced earlier this year that it would pull its Internet ads from Web sites that do not post privacy policies. Microsoft said it would review the privacy policies of sites before purchasing online advertising.
The initiative Herold said will help encourage the development of policies that cover core principles - notably notice of customer information being collected; consent to provide such information; access to that information; security of the information, including considerations for children; and enforcement of the privacy statement.
Microsoft's move will undoutedly be a push for its Privacy Wizard, a free online tool that asks a series of simple questions and generates a "template" privacy statement.
Microsoft is also active in the development of a standard platform for privacy, the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P), initiated in 1997 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
P3P provides for the creation of privacy statements in Extensible Markup Language (XML), an initiative that eventually will allow customers to choose the Web sites they visit based on their privacy assurances. Microsoft's Privacy Wizard is the first tool to adopt this standard.
Source: VNU Newswire
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