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e-Privacy Research: a New Disciplinary Borderland.
Unformatted Document Text:  * 9 analysis of websites if the communicated goals correspond with the real purposes of the processing within the organisation. We will though in our e-mail response test, by sending an e-mail to the organisation, receive some surprising information concerning the real goals of the data processing (conf. 3.6.). It is conspicuous that among all websites collecting personal data, as well the sites with a privacy statement as the ones without, 37% in 2001 and 49 % in 2002 communicate wherefore these data will be used. So a majority of the websites analysed, collects personal data without mentioning that fundamental information. Which goals have been communicated on the websites, is a next question we want to answer. 30% of the privacy statements communicate that the data are necessary to process and fulfill an order (34% in 2001). 13% talk about a subscription that the consumer wants (8% in 2001). 79% state that the data will be used to keep the consumer informed about their products and services. In other words, almost four out of five privacy statements announce that the data will be used for direct marketing. This is a significant increase compared to 2001, when 60% of our sample declared using data for direct marketing. 15% mention that the data can be used by another organisations for direct marketing purposes (also 15% in 2001). 20% of the privacy statements communicate also other goals, mostly vaguely formulated and not really informative for the website visitor, such as “internal use”, “commercial and contractual actions”, “administration of the website”, “making the website more user friendly”, “offering an as good as possible web experience”. In 2001 there were much more vague purposes, namely 59%. Surprising is that to update the website by adapting it to the characteristics of the visitors, there are often no personal data necessary. One can be interested in the age, language, gender and other characteristics of the visitors, but these characteristics must not necessarily be linked to individual personal identification data (such as name, address, ...). It is namely possible to adapt the website, based on general anonymous statistics of website visitors, or to link some characteristics of individual visitors to a cookie, without linking this information to personal data that identify the individual. Sometimes the hazy goal “internal use” is coupled to “contractually associated organisations”, by which the visitor knows no better about the final goals of the processing of his or her personal data. When we compare some results from 2002 with 2001, we can conclude that there is a slight increase of the information concerning the purpose of the data processing. A larger significant increase is observed concerning the information about the data collection for direct marketing purposes. Finally, there is a significative decrease in vague purposes. As a large majority of analysed websites collects data and only a part thereof (43% in 2001 and 55% in 2002) has a privacy statement, we ask ourselves if in that statement the essential privacy rights are mentioned. Moreover, are easy to use procedures proposed to exercise those rights? We will now have a closer look at the three fundamental rights, namely right to access your own personal data, to correct mistakes and to object to the use of personal data for direct marketing. 3.3.3. Right of access to personal data

Authors: Walrave, Michel.
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9
analysis of websites if the communicated goals correspond with the real purposes
of the processing within the organisation.
We will though in our e-mail response test, by sending an e-mail to the
organisation, receive some surprising information concerning the real goals of
the data processing (conf. 3.6.).
It is conspicuous that among all websites collecting personal data, as well the
sites with a privacy statement as the ones without, 37% in 2001 and 49 % in
2002 communicate wherefore these data will be used. So a majority of the
websites analysed, collects personal data without mentioning that fundamental
information.
Which goals have been communicated on the websites, is a next question we
want to answer. 30% of the privacy statements communicate that the data are
necessary to process and fulfill an order (34% in 2001). 13% talk about a
subscription that the consumer wants (8% in 2001). 79% state that the data will
be used to keep the consumer informed about their products and services. In
other words, almost four out of five privacy statements announce that the data
will be used for direct marketing. This is a significant increase compared to 2001,
when 60% of our sample declared using data for direct marketing.
15% mention that the data can be used by another organisations for direct
marketing purposes (also 15% in 2001). 20% of the privacy statements
communicate also other goals, mostly vaguely formulated and not really
informative for the website visitor, such as “internal use”, “commercial and
contractual actions”, “administration of the website”, “making the website more
user friendly”, “offering an as good as possible web experience”. In 2001 there
were much more vague purposes, namely 59%.
Surprising is that to update the website by adapting it to the characteristics of
the visitors, there are often no personal data necessary. One can be interested in
the age, language, gender and other characteristics of the visitors, but these
characteristics must not necessarily be linked to individual personal identification
data (such as name, address, ...). It is namely possible to adapt the website,
based on general anonymous statistics of website visitors, or to link some
characteristics of individual visitors to a cookie, without linking this information
to personal data that identify the individual.
Sometimes the hazy goal “internal use” is coupled to “contractually associated
organisations”, by which the visitor knows no better about the final goals of the
processing of his or her personal data.
When we compare some results from 2002 with 2001, we can conclude that
there is a slight increase of the information concerning the purpose of the data
processing. A larger significant increase is observed concerning the information
about the data collection for direct marketing purposes. Finally, there is a
significative decrease in vague purposes.
As a large majority of analysed websites collects data and only a part thereof
(43% in 2001 and 55% in 2002) has a privacy statement, we ask ourselves if in
that statement the essential privacy rights are mentioned. Moreover, are easy to
use procedures proposed to exercise those rights? We will now have a closer look
at the three fundamental rights, namely right to access your own personal data,
to correct mistakes and to object to the use of personal data for direct
marketing.

3.3.3. Right of access to personal data


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