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e-Privacy Research: a New Disciplinary Borderland.
Unformatted Document Text:  * 7 the websites collecting explicitly personal data have somewhere on their site formulated a text, where the information imposed by the privacy law can be found, although the original privacy law came in force in 1993. We observe that the visited web-shops score better in this matter than the corporate websites of businesses. 54% of the e-shops give information about their privacy policy against only 40% of the corporate websites. The privacy statement of the e- shops is often closely linked with other information, that a webshopkeeper must give according the Belgian law concerning trading practices, for instance. Our second analysis of the research sample in 2002 indicates a significant increase of this number. 55% have put their privacy policy online. Again the webshops score better than the corporate websites. 61 % of the e-shops put a privacy statement online, compared to 55 % of the corporate websites (other categories of websites, f.e. portals, e-zines not included). The companies having such a privacy statement, do they give her a place of honour on a separate webpage or is that privacy policy part of a wider policy where among other things the consumer's rights are enumerated? 60% dedicates a separate page to it (47% in 2001). This privacy statement is a synthesis of the organisation's privacy policy, in which information is given about the organisation collecting and using the data, the goals of the dataprocessing and the rights of the persons who entrust their data. 40% integrate the privacy rights in a wider entity (53% in 2001). In that last category we find 56% that put the privacy rights in the general conditions or conditions to visit the website (28% in 2001). 5% insert this information in the customer's service, a webpage, sometimes as a FAQ-page where customers can find information about their rights (11% in 2001). 26% mention those rights only on the electronic form (45% in 2001). 13% thought about alternatives, such as a disclaimer (16% in 2001). In a few cases the privacy statement appears once the personal data have been entered and sent. This is clearly too late. Before the consumers release their personal data, they have to be made aware of their rights and of the privacy policy of the organisation in general. The follow-up of the 2001 analysis indicates that an increasing number of websites are giving a place of honour to their privacy pledge. But when we have a look at the websites that mention their privacy policy in a specific section of their website, we observe that less websites integrate this information in an electronic form. Moreover an increasing number of sites enumerate the privacy rights in the general conditions, which can augment the risk that consumers do not browse through this list of conditions and other information concerning the use of the website, before filling in an electronic form. In other words, the privacy pledge can drown in an overload of information. When the privacy statement is put on a separate webpage, how is this webpage accessible by the visitor? In 26% of the cases the privacy page is accessible through the homepage (30% in 2001). So, from the beginning of the visit of the website the consumer can inform him- or herself about the privacy policy. 13% of the websites with a separate privacy page make this accessible by a hyperlink (eventually a symbol) that stays in the table of contents of the website (23% in 2001). This way a visitor, even the homepage left, can easily return to that privacy policy. 12% of the sites link the electronic form, where data can be brought in, with the separate privacy statement (21% in 2001). Finally the link between the website and the privacy page occurs otherwise on 27% of the sites, namely through a word or logo underneath each webpage (26% in 2001).

Authors: Walrave, Michel.
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7
the websites collecting explicitly personal data have somewhere on their site
formulated a text, where the information imposed by the privacy law can be
found, although the original privacy law came in force in 1993. We observe that
the visited web-shops score better in this matter than the corporate websites of
businesses. 54% of the e-shops give information about their privacy policy
against only 40% of the corporate websites. The privacy statement of the e-
shops is often closely linked with other information, that a webshopkeeper must
give according the Belgian law concerning trading practices, for instance. Our
second analysis of the research sample in 2002 indicates a significant increase of
this number. 55% have put their privacy policy online. Again the webshops score
better than the corporate websites. 61 % of the e-shops put a privacy statement
online, compared to 55 % of the corporate websites (other categories of
websites, f.e. portals, e-zines not included).

The companies having such a privacy statement, do they give her a place of
honour on a separate webpage or is that privacy policy part of a wider policy
where among other things the consumer's rights are enumerated? 60%
dedicates a separate page to it (47% in 2001). This privacy statement is a
synthesis of the organisation's privacy policy, in which information is given
about the organisation collecting and using the data, the goals of the
dataprocessing and the rights of the persons who entrust their data.
40% integrate the privacy rights in a wider entity (53% in 2001). In that last
category we find 56% that put the privacy rights in the general conditions or
conditions to visit the website (28% in 2001). 5% insert this information in the
customer's service, a webpage, sometimes as a FAQ-page where customers can
find information about their rights (11% in 2001). 26% mention those rights only
on the electronic form (45% in 2001). 13% thought about alternatives, such as a
disclaimer (16% in 2001). In a few cases the privacy statement appears once the
personal data have been entered and sent. This is clearly too late. Before the
consumers release their personal data, they have to be made aware of their
rights and of the privacy policy of the organisation in general. The follow-up of
the 2001 analysis indicates that an increasing number of websites are giving a
place of honour to their privacy pledge. But when we have a look at the websites
that mention their privacy policy in a specific section of their website, we observe
that less websites integrate this information in an electronic form. Moreover an
increasing number of sites enumerate the privacy rights in the general
conditions, which can augment the risk that consumers do not browse through
this list of conditions and other information concerning the use of the website,
before filling in an electronic form. In other words, the privacy pledge can drown
in an overload of information.
When the privacy statement is put on a separate webpage, how is this webpage
accessible by the visitor? In 26% of the cases the privacy page is accessible
through the homepage (30% in 2001). So, from the beginning of the visit of the
website the consumer can inform him- or herself about the privacy policy. 13%
of the websites with a separate privacy page make this accessible by a hyperlink
(eventually a symbol) that stays in the table of contents of the website (23% in
2001). This way a visitor, even the homepage left, can easily return to that
privacy policy. 12% of the sites link the electronic form, where data can be
brought in, with the separate privacy statement (21% in 2001). Finally the link
between the website and the privacy page occurs otherwise on 27% of the sites,
namely through a word or logo underneath each webpage (26% in 2001).


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