Intel this week joined other major Internet advertisers in threatening to withdraw ads from Web sites across the world that don't tighten up their privacy policies.
The chip giant is insisting that all consumers should be informed what information is being collected from them and how this information will be used. It also wants them to be able to review this information for accuracy.
In June, Intel asked all US sites carrying its ads to comply with the OPA's policy by 1 September this year. This week's announcement extends the demand to all sites worldwide to comply with the policy by 1 January 2000.
"Privacy guides are inherently a good thing. It helps to protect consumer guidelines and ensures their privacy is protected," said an Intel spokeswoman. "Intel will only purchase advertising and Web site space that will comply with the OPA."
"A number of large corporations do the same thing, such as Microsoft, IBM and Disney," she added.
It is estimated that about 70 per cent of Web sites that carry the Intel advertising already publish privacy policies.
The announcement was met with cautious optimism by Brian Gladman an advisor at Internet privacy campaign group Cyber Rights and Cyber Liberties.
"I think it is a reasonable and good development by Intel, as there is plenty of scope for abuse at the moment," he said.
"The Data Protection Act in the UK is designed to control companies holding private data, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest some are abusing these guidelines. But how productive these measures will be is another matter entirely," he added.
Intel was criticised earlier this year by privacy groups protesting against the inclusion of serial numbers in Intel's Pentium III chip. It was argued that it allowed the company to track consumer's moves as they used the Web. (see Newswire 25 January 1999)
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