Free Privacy Information For Small Businesses

Thursday Feb 28th 2002 by SmallBusinessComputing Staff
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Privacy Leadership Initiative launched a free online resource that shows small businesses how to develop and upgrade their privacy policies and notices.

Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

Small and medium-sized businesses may now access a new resource that offers step-by-step instructions on becoming privacy-smart, thanks to a new partnership announced by the Privacy Leadership Initiative (PLI) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The free online resource, "Privacy Made Simple," is designed for small and medium-sized companies that are looking to develop or upgrade their privacy policies and notices. It includes an assessment tool, an overview of legal requirements, special information about dealing with children or operating in the European Union and a comprehensive glossary of privacy terms.

Privacy Made Simple may help to address a business need uncovered in PLI research conducted by Harris Interactive. The PLI surveys showed that online consumers are wary of doing business with small companies they know only over the Internet. Just 31 percent of online users said they would provide personal information to such companies, versus 67 percent or more saying they would only do business with brand name companies such as Ford or IBM, or large Web-based companies such as Amazon.com or AOL.

The research also shows, however, that having an understandable privacy notice or online privacy seal makes consumers feel more comfortable completing a Web transaction. Privacy Made Simple will help companies take the steps necessary to meet these consumer expectations.

Bill Kovacs, Vice President of the Chamber in charge of technology policy, said, "Small businesses are increasingly moving into e-commerce as a way to reach new customers and become more efficient. Meeting the privacy expectations of consumers is a critical component of doing business in this new environment. We look forward to working jointly with the PLI on this and other projects that will be of value to our members."

For more information, visit the Web site at www.understandingprivacy.org.

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