Microsoft Plays a Key Role in Web Privacy Partnership Campaign

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 7, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today joined seven other leading Internet companies to launch a grass-roots campaign to raise consumer awareness about the importance of personal privacy online and urged others throughout the Web community to join the effort. The unprecedented campaign, called the Privacy Partnership, is being spearheaded by TRUSTe, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to building consumer trust in the Internet. Microsoft, America Online Inc., Excite Inc., Infoseek Corp., Lycos Inc., Netscape Communications Corp., Snap Online! and Yahoo! Inc., will spread the message through banner ads on their Web sites. The campaign is scheduled to run from Oct. 12 through the end of the month.

“Microsoft’s commitment to online privacy is related to our ongoing vision of empowering the individual to do more through the PC,”
said Bob Herbold, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Microsoft.
“The Internet, like the PC, provides unique opportunities for people and businesses to interact. To fully realize these possibilities, Microsoft is committed to partnerships that advance people’s understanding of privacy and help to build trust when they’re online.”

Laura Jennings, vice president of the MSN
network of Internet products and services, said the newly relaunched portal site for MSN, as one of its first public acts, will donate
20 million banner impressions to the Privacy Partnership. After the campaign ends in late October, Microsoft will continue its efforts to champion privacy issues to consumers.
“We want to make a long-term investment in the education of users of MSN,”
Jennings said.
“Microsoft pledges to reserve 2 million banner impressions every month for the next 12 months for privacy-related promotions along with nonprofit industry organizations such as TRUSTe, BBB Online and Online Privacy Alliance.”

Announcing Microsoft’s role in the Privacy Partnership at a press conference in New York, Jennings said,
“Microsoft is committed to making the most trusted network of services on the Web. We want to make it easier for people to use the Web to stay in touch, keep informed and make smart purchasing and financial decisions. Educating people about how to protect their personal information and privacy on the Web is a critical part of Microsoft’s efforts. We believe the Privacy Partnership is capable of educating a broad segment of Internet consumers, and we urge all our partners and customers to join us in this effort.”

Following is a brief overview of Microsoft’s efforts to protect personal privacy online:

  • All Microsoft online sites have privacy statements one click away from their front-page screens. These statements outline what personal information is collected, how it will be used, and how people can opt out of any additional uses of their information. In most cases, no personal information is necessary to view Microsoft Web sites.

  • Microsoft will display the TRUSTe logo along with its privacy policy. The logo indicates that a business has agreed to privacy principles developed by TRUSTe members and will undergo periodic audits to ensure that its privacy practices are in keeping with TRUSTe privacy policies.

  • Microsoft recently acquired Firefly Network Inc., a leading provider of technology and services designed to make possible the trusted exchange of personal information between people and businesses on the Internet.

  • Microsoft has created a Personal Information Center on its Web site ( ), which allows customers to choose the information they would like to receive, view and edit their personal information whenever they choose, and ensure that no unsolicited e-mail messages are sent to them.

Jennings also discussed Microsoft’s participation in industry groups and campaigns dedicated to Internet self-regulation.

  • Microsoft is a member of the Online Privacy Alliance, a cross-industry coalition committed to protecting the privacy of individuals on the Internet, and TRUSTe, a nonprofit, global privacy initiative dedicated to building trust and confidence in online transactions.

  • Microsoft supports the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), a proposed Internet standard designed to put users in control of the exchange of their personal information.

For more information about the Privacy Partnership, visit the TRUSTe Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.


Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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