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e-Privacy Research: a New Disciplinary Borderland.
Unformatted Document Text:  * 14 answering the e-mails, is absent and the e-mails are not sent through to a present employee. Some e-mail answers are very informative about the final goal of the dataprocessing. For example, in a certain privacy statement there is mentioned that the data will be used for "internal use" only. But asking more explanations by e-mail, we find out that they mean "own direct marketing actions". One poetic webmaster replies that the data are for direct marketing because "using the site is free of charge and we can not live on the dew only". In a few e-mails one steps quickly over the question but one proposes directly to remove the data out of the database. But the question of the visitor was limited to information about the goals of the processing. Certain businesses associate the question about privacy instantly and solely with technological dataprotection. They reply then also that the data are secured adequately, but do not give any information concerning the goals of the dataprocessing (e.g. "Be reassured. Your data are secure in our hands!"). Although the secure storing of personal data is absolutely necessary, we have to stress that the protection of the privacy online is more than this: namely, the management and use (in conformity to the legislation) of personal data as agreed explicitly with the consumers. Some answers of businesses give food for thought, as they answer that the data are 'momentarily' not used for direct marketing. Some add to this that they cannot foresee what will be done with those personal data in the future. Herewith it should be desirable to inform the persons concerned if the privacy policy changes and if the data will be used for direct marketing, for example. And in that e-mail the consumer should have the possibility to mention his or her choice. If the goals, for which the data have been collected, change, then this does not correspond any more with the conditions accepted by the consumers at the moment they released personal data. The persons concerned must be consulted again and have the choice, if they wish to reject these new usage conditions. The contrast in the results of this e-mail response test is great between the companies that answer fast, politely and completely and the others that do not answer at all or sometimes reply with a short and blunt e-mail. For example, in the style of "all information can be found on the orderform", which finally is untrue as nothing is written about the privacy rights. We have experienced that more than half of the websites does not answer a simple request about the processing of personal data. This can point out several malfunctions within the organisation. Firstly, we must not forget that a major part of our sample of websites have no privacy statement. The information about that subject has maybe never been communicated internally to the persons who have to answer the e-mails. We state also that with the increase of quality and completeness of the privacy statement, the quality and speed of the answer increase also. In short, a privacy strategy must not only be an accessory to evoke confidence in the show-window. The privacy statement must be experienced within the organisation and not be just some window-dressing. This can only if the employees, dealing with the personal data and replying the e- mails, letters and telephone calls of the customers and prospects, are themselves informed about the legislation and the application of the law within their own company. Clear internal communication about the privacy policy must precede the external communication. 3.7. The final score

Authors: Walrave, Michel.
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answering the e-mails, is absent and the e-mails are not sent through to a
present employee.
Some e-mail answers are very informative about the final goal of the
dataprocessing. For example, in a certain privacy statement there is mentioned
that the data will be used for "internal use" only. But asking more explanations
by e-mail, we find out that they mean "own direct marketing actions". One poetic
webmaster replies that the data are for direct marketing because "using the site
is free of charge and we can not live on the dew only".
In a few e-mails one steps quickly over the question but one proposes directly to
remove the data out of the database. But the question of the visitor was limited
to information about the goals of the processing. Certain businesses associate
the question about privacy instantly and solely with technological dataprotection.
They reply then also that the data are secured adequately, but do not give any
information concerning the goals of the dataprocessing (e.g. "Be reassured. Your
data are secure in our hands!"). Although the secure storing of personal data is
absolutely necessary, we have to stress that the protection of the privacy online
is more than this: namely, the management and use (in conformity to the
legislation) of personal data as agreed explicitly with the consumers.
Some answers of businesses give food for thought, as they answer that the data
are 'momentarily' not used for direct marketing. Some add to this that they
cannot foresee what will be done with those personal data in the future. Herewith
it should be desirable to inform the persons concerned if the privacy policy
changes and if the data will be used for direct marketing, for example. And in
that e-mail the consumer should have the possibility to mention his or her
choice. If the goals, for which the data have been collected, change, then this
does not correspond any more with the conditions accepted by the consumers at
the moment they released personal data. The persons concerned must be
consulted again and have the choice, if they wish to reject these new usage
conditions.
The contrast in the results of this e-mail response test is great between the
companies that answer fast, politely and completely and the others that do not
answer at all or sometimes reply with a short and blunt e-mail. For example, in
the style of "all information can be found on the orderform", which finally is
untrue as nothing is written about the privacy rights.
We have experienced that more than half of the websites does not answer a
simple request about the processing of personal data. This can point out several
malfunctions within the organisation. Firstly, we must not forget that a major
part of our sample of websites have no privacy statement. The information about
that subject has maybe never been communicated internally to the persons who
have to answer the e-mails. We state also that with the increase of quality and
completeness of the privacy statement, the quality and speed of the answer
increase also. In short, a privacy strategy must not only be an accessory to
evoke confidence in the show-window. The privacy statement must be
experienced within the organisation and not be just some window-dressing. This
can only if the employees, dealing with the personal data and replying the e-
mails, letters and telephone calls of the customers and prospects, are themselves
informed about the legislation and the application of the law within their own
company. Clear internal communication about the privacy policy must precede
the external communication.
3.7. The final score


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