January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Survey Finds Online Privacy "Gap"

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Ninety percent of online marketers say self-regulation is adequately protecting the privacy rights of consumers at their own companies -- but only 46% believe it's working for the industry in general. And that's not the only "privacy gap" highlighted by a new survey from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Responsys.com, a provider of online direct marketing solutions. Of 352 online marketers surveyed, almost half believe that consumers feel their online privacy rights are being protected. But in contrast, a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 84% of Internet users are concerned about web sites having their personal information. In other findings, the Responsys.com survey determined that 61% of the marketers believe that government involvement in privacy is inevitable, and 64% believe this will ultimately hinder the growth of e commerce. At the same time, 51% of respondents have a privacy policy posted on their web site -- and 54% of those have updated it in the past six months in response to changing industry standards. "In order to bridge the privacy gap and keep online commerce on its current growth curve, it's essential that businesses, consumer groups and government work together now to agree on effective online privacy standards," says Anand Jagannathan, Responsys.com president and CEO.

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