24 June Computergram:
+ Microsoft Gets Tough on Net Privacy Policies
Microsoft Corp has put its foot down over internet privacy
statements, saying it will not advertise on web sites that
don't have strong Platform for Privacy Preferences
(P3P)-approved policies posted on their sites. "Inadequate
privacy protection is a top barrier to the continued growth of
e-commerce," Microsoft executive vice president and chief
operating officer Bob Herbold said in his PCExpo keynote speech
in New York yesterday. "Our goal is to provide the leadership,
expertise and technologies to help move the industry forward on
this front." Herbold said that companies had six months to post
security guidelines or Microsoft would withdraw advertising.
Herbold said that Microsoft has developed a downloadable
Privacy Wizard to help firms comply with the company's wishes.
The XML- based questionnaire allows firms to create a
P3P-approved privacy statement for posting onto a site within
an hour. In addition, Herbold said, that sites that support
Microsoft's Passport scheme - which allows online consumers to
record their privacy preferences once and use the 'passport' to
enter other sites - will have to be approved by privacy seal
organizations Truste or BBBOnline.
Microsoft will also be putting its own house in order and
applying the privacy statement for the US arm of MSN to the 29
international 'mirror' sites. These statements include policies
about notice, consent, access, security, enforcement and
children. Herbold explained that Microsoft's moves on the
privacy front had mostly been prompted by a desire to further
online commerce, saying "we're in an inadequate state right
now." However, he also alluded to the recent school shootings
in Colorado as another reason to toughen up privacy guidelines,
especially regarding children.