BBBOnLine, European Groups Plan International Privacy Program

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The Better Business Bureau's BBBOnLine, the Federation of European Direct Marketing and Eurochambres - the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry - yesterday announced an initiative to develop an international privacy seal and promote consumer confidence online.

"The worldwide success of e-business depends on consumer trust," Ken Hunter, president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and BBBOnLine, said in a statement. "This initiative's goal is to create common standards, a consistent alternative dispute resolution framework and a recognizable trustmark upon which every online shopper, no matter what their base of operation, can rely."

BBBOnLine operates a trustmark program in the United States and Canada.

The three organizations advocate self-regulatory programs with dispute resolution provisions. The groups aim to standardize such practices and create a globally recognizable seal that they hope will eliminate consumer concern regarding international e-commerce. The target date for the program's launch is early 2002.

The three organizations also are urging businesses and governments outside North America and the European Union to regulate their e-commerce practices.

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