IQ News: Portals Plug Privacy Push

In an effort to increase awareness of online privacy issues, eight portal companies said last week that they have partnered with the non-profit Internet privacy group TrustE in a banner campaign that launches today.
Microsoft’s MSN, America Online, Yahoo, Infoseek, Lycos, Excite, Snap and Netscape have formed a Privacy Partnership agreement to run banners linking to a TrustE privacy information site, located at www.truste.org/partners. The banners, and a redesign of the TrustE Web site, were both produced by Siegel & Gale, New York.
The group believes the campaign will generate 150 million banner impressions through the end of the month. Companies including CNET, IBM, MatchLogic and Juno, in addition to the portals, have committed to running the ads on their sites.
The TrustE site includes information about providing personal details to sites, passwords, protecting children, spam and tools for publishers to create their own privacy statements.
Susan Scott, executive director of TrustE, said the aim is to educate consumers about online privacy, as well as to help publishers handle privacy issues.
Scott cited a Louis Harris poll about online privacy to illustrate the need for such a site. The poll found that 61 percent of non-Internet users say privacy concerns keep them from getting online, while 78 percent of users claim such concerns prevent them from full use of the medium.
Srinija Srinivasan, editor in chief of Yahoo, said the effort is vital to creating a comfortable environment for consumers. “If we violate that trust,” she said, “then we violate these critical relationships.”
–Adrienne Mand