** NCDM: Speaker Urges Companies to Embrace Privacy

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ORLANDO, FL -- Judy Kincaid, director of customer relationship management at Hewlett-Packard, told attendees at the closing luncheon of the 26th Annual National Center for Database Marketing show here that they should embrace privacy, not be afraid of it.


Kincaid said she was at the NCDM show for three reasons: to raise awareness about the importance of privacy in business today; to clarify and simplify the definition of privacy; and to encourage people not to be afraid of the privacy movement. Instead, she said, look at it as an opportunity to establish a good relationship with customers.


"Embrace privacy and make it part of your business start," Kincaid urged. "This way, customers will give you their information and trust you."


Kincaid argued that one of the most important things companies can do to establish trust with their customers is to place a privacy policy on their Web site. The privacy policy does not have to be elaborate, she said. It can be a relatively short statement about how you handle privacy in your company.


Kincaid further said a good privacy program should include the following criteria:


• awareness -- tell people what data you collect and what you're going to do with it.


• choice -- let your customers choose what they can do with the data that they have given you.


• accuracy and access -- partner with your customers and let them know that you understand they own their data, not your company. You are just the custodian of it.


• security -- let your customers know that their information will be secure.


• oversight -- ensure your privacy policy is handled by a specific person in your company. Here she also recommended using a third-party source -- such BBDOnline and TrustE -- to handle the dispute resolution process if it arises.


Privacy issues do not stop with consumer sites or sites catering to children, Kincaid said. "It's important for business-to-business sites to have strong privacy policies as well."
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