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e-Privacy Research: a New Disciplinary Borderland.
Unformatted Document Text:  * 15 As conclusion of the analysis of the privacy statements we repeat the final score of all websites we have analysed. On the basis of the privacy law minimal information must be communicated about: the responsible, the goals, eventually also the right of access and correction. The new privacy law adds the right of opposition when data will be used for direct marketing. On the basis of the pure legal aspects actually in force, the websites collecting personal data score as follows (conf. Table 2): Table 2: Percentage of all websites collecting personal data (with or without a privacy statement) that respect the obligations of the privacy law. Herewith we stress that those percentages are about all the surveyed websites collecting personal data online. We repeat that in the survey 93% in 2001 and 90,5% in 2002 collect data of visitors in one way or another. Thereof half has a privacy statement where the legally obliged information can be inserted. A majority of the websites score highly unsatisfactorily for the information of the visitors about their privacy rights and about the procedures how to apply, if required, these rights 3 . We want to stress though that the quality of the privacy statements is improving. Besides, this minimal information obliged by the legislation, we have verified to what degree the sites communicate eventually also other information. 21% of all sites processing data mention explicitly the privacy law, whereas 12% mention the Privacy Commission. 5% have also a privacy label (mostly on the homepage) or refer to an ethical code whereon their privacy strategy is based (conf. Walrave, 2001b). 4. Conclusion: still a good deal of work to do The integration of feedback possibilities for individual consumers to advertising messages becomes a priority of marketers. The use of direct and interactive media, moreover, offers the possibility to scan the behaviour of prospects and clients. Knowledge about consumers is built, not only about their buying intentions or perceptions of and attitudes towards a company or product. Actual behaviour of individual consumers is stored in databases and analysed to inspire personalized communication. Marketing on the internet is, at the moment, the pinnacle of this trend. Banners and intermercials cannot only be broadcasted on a website, where the visitors more or less have a similar profile as the target group of the advertiser. Advertising on the internet can namely be sent to the browser of an individual visitor of a website, depending on his or her profile, the webpages visited, the search commands entered, the electronic form filled in. Besides, more individualized and detailed information can be sent by e-mail. The communication process between the consumer and the website can be a learning process, in which the offers and services of the advertiser can be adapted real-time to the questions, hints, surfing behaviour of the prospect. In this first survey of Belgian commercial websites concerning the protection of privacy and concerning the application of the Belgian privacy law, we observe that a majority of the visited websites does not give any information to the website visitors releasing their personal data online. It is notable that many businesses try to make the navigation in their website user-friendly and to enlarge the possibilities of interaction and feedback. This way they want to fulfill

Authors: Walrave, Michel.
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15
As conclusion of the analysis of the privacy statements we repeat the final score
of all websites we have analysed. On the basis of the privacy law minimal
information must be communicated about: the responsible, the goals, eventually
also the right of access and correction. The new privacy law adds the right of
opposition when data will be used for direct marketing.
On the basis of the pure legal aspects actually in force, the websites collecting
personal data score as follows (conf. Table 2):
Table 2: Percentage of all websites collecting personal data (with or without a
privacy statement) that respect the obligations of the privacy law.
Herewith we stress that those percentages are about all the surveyed websites
collecting personal data online. We repeat that in the survey 93% in 2001 and
90,5% in 2002 collect data of visitors in one way or another. Thereof half has a
privacy statement where the legally obliged information can be inserted.
A majority of the websites score highly unsatisfactorily for the information of the
visitors about their privacy rights and about the procedures how to apply, if
required, these rights
3
. We want to stress though that the quality of the privacy
statements is improving.
Besides, this minimal information obliged by the legislation, we have verified to
what degree the sites communicate eventually also other information. 21% of all
sites processing data mention explicitly the privacy law, whereas 12% mention
the Privacy Commission. 5% have also a privacy label (mostly on the homepage)
or refer to an ethical code whereon their privacy strategy is based (conf.
Walrave, 2001b).
4. Conclusion: still a good deal of work to do
The integration of feedback possibilities for individual consumers to advertising
messages becomes a priority of marketers. The use of direct and interactive
media, moreover, offers the possibility to scan the behaviour of prospects and
clients. Knowledge about consumers is built, not only about their buying
intentions or perceptions of and attitudes towards a company or product. Actual
behaviour of individual consumers is stored in databases and analysed to inspire
personalized communication.
Marketing on the internet is, at the moment, the pinnacle of this trend. Banners
and intermercials cannot only be broadcasted on a website, where the visitors
more or less have a similar profile as the target group of the advertiser.
Advertising on the internet can namely be sent to the browser of an individual
visitor of a website, depending on his or her profile, the webpages visited, the
search commands entered, the electronic form filled in. Besides, more
individualized and detailed information can be sent by e-mail.
The communication process between the consumer and the website can be a
learning process, in which the offers and services of the advertiser can be
adapted real-time to the questions, hints, surfing behaviour of the prospect.
In this first survey of Belgian commercial websites concerning the protection of
privacy and concerning the application of the Belgian privacy law, we observe
that a majority of the visited websites does not give any information to the
website visitors releasing their personal data online. It is notable that many
businesses try to make the navigation in their website user-friendly and to
enlarge the possibilities of interaction and feedback. This way they want to fulfill


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