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e-Privacy Research: a New Disciplinary Borderland.
Unformatted Document Text:  * 6 additional information. Finally, the consumer must receive some control over the administration and the use of his or her data. In 2001 only 46% made, in their list of data, the difference between necessary data and data that are facultative. In 2002 we observe a significant increase of this fundamental choice that is given to the website visitor. 56 % of the electronic forms make this difference clear. 3.2. Is a privacy statement present? When data are collected (online), the person who is responsible for that processing must give the following information, in respect to the revised Belgian privacy law, namely: - who is the responsible person for this processing and the address of that person or organisation, - what is the purpose or different purposes of that processing, - how a person can object, without charge and without giving a reason, against the processing of his/her data for direct marketing (according the new privacy law); - if the dataprocessing is compulsory and what are the consequences if all or some data lack; - taking into account the specific circumstances of the data collection, additional information can be communicated, for instance: who are the receivers (or categories of receivers) of the data, if these data are not (only) used by the organisation that collects them, but sold or hired to others. At last they can also point out that there exists a right of access and of correction of the own personal data. Those last three pieces of information have not to be communicated if they do not seem necessary, in the given circumstances, to guarantee an honest processing of the personal data with respect to the datasubjects. For instance, if an organisation gathers data for a third, then in all fairness that third has to be identified. This is, in a nutshell, the minimal information to be given to a person when communicating his or her personal data. But, when and where must this information be given in the best way? The law suggests that the individual must be informed the latest when the data are obtained. On a website it will be just before filling in an electronic (order)form. Ideally this information should be assembled in a privacy statement, that is displayed at the top of that form. Also a few words (f.e. Privacy Policy) or a symbol can be put on top of a form that is linked to the privacy statement, that could appear in a pop-up window. The privacy law precises also that the right of opposition, in the case of direct marketing, has to be granted on the form where data is written down, using for example a simple sentence with a tick-box. The central question that we are asking in this research is indeed: is the consumer informed about the privacy policy of the firm? This global question falls apart in several subdivisions: Which privacy rights and other legally obliged information is mentioned or not? Where is this mentioned? Has the privacy statement a separate place on the website or is it part of a general customer policy page or disclaimer? And by no means the least important is that the consumer is also informed about the procedure to follow in case of, for instance, the application of his right of access, correction or opposition. In the studied websites collecting personal data, we found during our analysis in 2001 a privacy statement on 43% of the sample of websites. So, not even half of

Authors: Walrave, Michel.
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additional information. Finally, the consumer must receive some control over the
administration and the use of his or her data. In 2001 only 46% made, in their
list of data, the difference between necessary data and data that are facultative.
In 2002 we observe a significant increase of this fundamental choice that is given
to the website visitor. 56 % of the electronic forms make this difference clear.
3.2. Is a privacy statement present?
When data are collected (online), the person who is responsible for that
processing must give the following information, in respect to the revised Belgian
privacy law, namely:
-
who is the responsible person for this processing and the address of that
person or organisation,
-
what is the purpose or different purposes of that processing,
-
how a person can object, without charge and without giving a reason,
against the processing of his/her data for direct marketing (according the
new privacy law);
-
if the dataprocessing is compulsory and what are the consequences if all
or some data lack;
-
taking into account the specific circumstances of the data collection,
additional information can be communicated, for instance: who are the
receivers (or categories of receivers) of the data, if these data are not
(only) used by the organisation that collects them, but sold or hired to
others. At last they can also point out that there exists a right of access
and of correction of the own personal data. Those last three pieces of
information have not to be communicated if they do not seem necessary,
in the given circumstances, to guarantee an honest processing of the
personal data with respect to the datasubjects. For instance, if an
organisation gathers data for a third, then in all fairness that third has to
be identified.
This is, in a nutshell, the minimal information to be given to a person when
communicating his or her personal data. But, when and where must this
information be given in the best way? The law suggests that the individual must
be informed the latest when the data are obtained. On a website it will be just
before filling in an electronic (order)form. Ideally this information should be
assembled in a privacy statement, that is displayed at the top of that form. Also
a few words (f.e. Privacy Policy) or a symbol can be put on top of a form that is
linked to the privacy statement, that could appear in a pop-up window. The
privacy law precises also that the right of opposition, in the case of direct
marketing, has to be granted on the form where data is written down, using for
example a simple sentence with a tick-box.
The central question that we are asking in this research is indeed: is the
consumer informed about the privacy policy of the firm? This global question falls
apart in several subdivisions: Which privacy rights and other legally obliged
information is mentioned or not? Where is this mentioned? Has the privacy
statement a separate place on the website or is it part of a general customer
policy page or disclaimer? And by no means the least important is that the
consumer is also informed about the procedure to follow in case of, for instance,
the application of his right of access, correction or opposition.
In the studied websites collecting personal data, we found during our analysis in
2001 a privacy statement on 43% of the sample of websites. So, not even half of


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