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Source: Toronto Star

Posted on September 9, 2002

      Ann Cavoukian and Tyler Hamilton, authors of Privacy Payoff, offer 10 reasons why companies should pay attention to the issue of privacy -- now more than ever.

      - You want to avoid damage to your company's reputation, particularly negative articles appearing in the press.

      - You want to avoid being penalized by any existing or future laws that set rules for how consumer information should be collected, used and stored.

      - You want to avoid civil and class-action lawsuits that may result from unintentional -- if not intentional -- abuses of personal data or what may appear to be unfair and deceptive information practices.

      - You want to monitor the activities of your employees but not intrude upon their work lives to the point where staff morale, and in turn productivity, suffer.

      - You want to make sure your company measures up to the privacy standards adopted by strategic partners so as not to jeopardize valuable business relationships.

      - You want to do business and collect consumer information in other countries that have their own privacy laws and customs.

      - You want to gain the trust and confidence of your customers so they won't be tempted to feed you false data, rendering the information in your database that you depend on for marketing, advertising, personalization and customer service useless.

      - You would expect the same treatment of your own personal or corporate information.

      - You want to convince both new and seasoned Web users that shopping on the Internet is secure and that their information is protected, thereby encouraging them to become more active participants in the Internet economy, which will ultimately grow to the benefit of all.

      - You want to gain an edge over competitors who have failed to embrace privacy best practices that consumers look for when deciding where to spend their online dollars. By following best practices, you also want to gain advantages over rivals who are interested in complying only with the minimum standards of law or regulation.

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