*Business Requires Balance of Privacy, Data

WASHINGTON — “A strong economy demands a balance between the free flow of information and respect for privacy,” said Bill Catucci, executive vice president and group executive of North American information services, Equifax Inc., as he kicked off the final day of The Global Privacy Summit 2000, here last week at Omni Shoreham Hotel.

While Catucci stressed the importance of consumer privacy, he added that if privacy issues put an end to e-commerce, everyone loses.

Many consumers do not really understand privacy issues, according to Catucci. he said that consumers who are educated about privacy tend to favor a balance of information exchange and privacy.

“Free flow of information benefits businesses, consumers, and the economy,” said Catucci.

If businesses adhere to fair information practices and educate the public, he said, everyone will benefit.

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