IBM, Armonk, NY, announced to the online community yesterday that it won’t place Internet advertising on Web sites in the United States and Canada unless the site has posted an online statement detailing its official policy on privacy and use of consumers’ personal information.
IBM’s Internet advertising agency, OgilvyOne, a division of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, immediately began mailing out notification letters to an estimated 360 Web sites where IBM currently advertises in North America. The letter explains the new policy, which takes effect June 1, and details the importance that privacy policies contribute to consumers’ confidence of the online world.
But other privacy analysts applauded the initiative. At the Center for Social and Legal Research, Alan Westin, president/publisher of the Privacy & American Business report, said the move provides a valuable incentive for companies to post policies and will likely have a significant effect.
“IBM is saying that there is an ethical practice which requires that privacy communications be made to the consumer. And any organization that does not provide that is not where the company wants to put its advertising. It’s very commendable.”