INTERNATIONAL How to Create a Global Privacy Program (888 word
Customer relationship management is one of direct marketing's hottest buzzwords. However, a key component of a business-to-consumer relationship often is overlooked. To remain competitive, direct marketers must also consider adding "privacy relationship management" to their list of things to do.
Individuals around the world want to manage their privacy relationship with you! They want to understand what you want to know, why you want to know it, and what you do with this information. With whom do you plan to share it and how long do you plan to keep it?
The capture of personal data for marketing purposes is a long-standing practice in American society. But, policies and laws are changing. At The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA)/Internet Alliance 2001 Government Affairs Conference in May, DMA president Bob Weintzen noted, "Year to date, there have been 465 privacy-related bills introduced in 46 states."
In other parts of the world, policies and laws regarding the use of personal data for marketing purposes are more restrictive. Last fall, the Argentine congress adopted the strictest data protection law in Latin America. In the European Union, each member nation agrees to abide by the Data Protection Directive of 1998, a formalized set of practices that are much stiffer than those of the United States. When implementation of this Directive threatened the flow of data from the European Union (EU) to the United States, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission negotiated the Safe Harbor, which was approved in July 2000. The Safe Harbor is a system whereby a U.S. company voluntarily self-certifies to the Department of Commerce that it will adhere to certain privacy principles.
According to the Department of Commerce, "The safe harbor is an important way for U.S. companies to avoid experiencing interruptions in their business dealings with the EU or facing prosecution by European authorities under European privacy laws. Certifying to the Safe Harbor will assure that EU organizations know that your company provides 'adequate' privacy protection, as defined by the Directive."