Microsoft Urges Internet-Based Businesses Attending COMDEX To Join Online Privacy Alliance

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 16, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today urged Internet-based businesses at COMDEX/Fall ’98 in Las Vegas to put consumers in control of their personal data by enacting privacy policies on their Web sites and by joining the Online Privacy Alliance.

The Online Privacy Alliance is a coalition of more than 60 global corporations and organizations working to promote consumer privacy online. The alliance advocates industry self-regulation as the best way to ensure that consumers maintain control of their personal data online. Alliance members pledge to adopt and post an easy-to-read privacy policy on their Web sites and to give consumers choices about how their personal data is used. Members also pledge to take a leadership role in initiating industrywide online privacy safeguards and to encourage their business associates and other Internet businesses to follow the alliance’s privacy principles.

Laura Jennings, vice president of the MSN
online service, said Microsoft is a strong supporter of Online Privacy Alliance initiatives.
“The Internet is enabling businesses to expand in new ways that offer huge growth opportunities, but a key to fulfilling this potential is establishing consumer trust online,”
Jennings said.
“Many people are eager to explore how the Internet can help them shop more easily for goods and services. But they want assurances that they will maintain control of their personal information if they shop online. Microsoft’s membership in the Online Privacy Alliance advances our commitment to protecting consumers’ privacy online, and we urge others within the industry to join the alliance.”

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

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

  • Microsoft Web 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 use of their information. In most cases, no personal information is necessary to view Microsoft Web sites.

  • Microsoft displays 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 joined seven other leading Internet companies and TRUSTe to launch the Privacy Partnership, a grass-roots campaign to raise consumer awareness about the importance of personal privacy. The campaign was one of the largest online advertising campaigns ever.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

In addition to Microsoft, members of the Online Privacy Alliance include many other well-known names in electronic commerce, smaller start-up ventures and some companies that are new to the Internet: Acxiom Corp.; American Advertising Federation; American Electronics Association; American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; America Online Inc.; Apple Computer Inc.; AT & T Corp.; Bank of America; Bell Atlantic Corp.; CASIE (CASIE represents Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies); Cisco Systems Inc.; Compaq Computer Corp.; Computer Systems Policy Project; Dell Computer Corp.; Walt Disney Co.; Direct Marketing Association; Dun & Bradstreet; Eastman Kodak Co.; eBay Inc.; Electronic Data Systems Corp.; E-LOAN Inc.; Engage Technologies Inc.; Equifax Inc.; Ernst & Young; European-American Business Council; Experian Information Systems Inc.; Ford Motor Co.; Gateway Computer Corp.; GeoCities; Hewlett-Packard Co.; IBM Corp.; Individual Reference Services Group; Information Technology Association of America (ITAA); InsWeb Corp.; Interactive Travel Services Association (ITAA); Internet Alliance; KPMG International; LEXIS-NEXIS; MatchLogic Inc.; MCI WorldCom Inc.; Narrowline Inc.; NCR Corp.; NETCOM On-Line Communication Services Inc.; Netscape Communications Corp.; Network Risk Management Services; Northern Telecom Ltd.; Oracle Corp.; Preview Travel Inc.; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Procter & Gamble Co.; The Software Publishers Association; Sun Microsystems Inc.; Time Warner Inc.; The United States Council for International Business; The United States Chamber of Commerce; Viacom Inc.; ViewCall Canada Inc.; Xerox Corp.; Yahoo! Inc.

The Online Privacy Alliance, a group of more than 60 global companies and associations, is in the midst of a national campaign to educate Internet businesses on the need for posting privacy policies and abiding by them. Briefings already have been held in Washington, D.C., Boston and New York. The next briefing is scheduled for Dec. 3 in Palo Alto, Calif., with additional briefings planned for the spring. Those interested in more information can visit .

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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