Attempting to solve some of the tricky privacy issues surrounding personalisation technology, a group of 26 companies were to announce the formation of the Personalisation Consortium at Internet World this week.
The group intends to act as a forum for the discussion of how e-businesses can use personalisation technology tools without compromising the privacy of consumers and businesses. It also intends to develop guidelines for companies wishing to deploy personalisation technology as part of their marketing activities. As part of this, the consortium will develop a set of recommended industry practices; sponsor research on the technology; and attempt to educate the public about the benefits of personalised marketing. Additionally, it will work with other advocacy groups to promote the responsible use of the technology.
Indeed, the group already has produced a draft document that attempts to provide initial objectives for privacy management, as well as a four-point privacy monitoring and assurance programme for its members.
The draft objectives document specifies the following objectives: fair access by individuals to their personal information; responsible linkage of online and offline information; provisions for individuals to change information; criteria for "opt-in" and "opt-out" privacy options; and templates to standardise the disclosure of consortium members' privacy policies to consumers.
The privacy monitoring programme, which is said to exceed existing self-regulation programmes, includes a free self-assessment mechanism for members to gauge their compliance with privacy practices and policies, as well as the degree of consumer protection they are offering; independent verification and audit of their security policies; a dispute-resolution mechanism; and an education program.
Founder members of the group include American Airlines, BroadVision, DoubleClick, E.piphany, KPMG Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PrivaSeek, and Wheelhouse. The consortium is offering two levels of participation: Executive and Associate membership.