IBM brings internet privacy program to Asia

IBM is bringing its Internet privacy initiative to the Asia-Pacific region and will limit its advertising on Web sites in the region which do not follow IBM guidelines, the company announced here Monday in a statement.

The program, introduced earlier in the year in the US, urges Web site operators to post a privacy statement telling visitors how personal information they provide will be used.

IBM said it would limit its advertising on Asia-Pacific Web sites after March 1, 2000 to only those sites which have posted a privacy statement. IBM is one of the largest Internet advertisers in the region.

Ron Greenberg, vice president of marketing at IBM Asia-Pacific, said in the statement that people need a visible and understandable reminder that a Web site will treat their personal information in appropriate ways.

IBM said that it is the responsibility of each Web site operator to decide the appropriate privacy policy for each site. It said that it will survey sites on which it advertises to ensure that a privacy policy is posted.

IBM said Web site operators could refer to materials and guidance from Trust-e to help them establish a privacy statement for their site. Trust-e is an industry-backed but independent initiative which aims to build users' trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the principles of disclosure and informed consent.

When users visit a Web site displaying the Trust-e mark, they can expect to be notified of: what information is gathered/tracked; how the information is used; and with whom the information is shared, according to Trust-e.

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