December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

If retailers don`t safeguard consumers` privacy online, the government will

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These programs review and certify your privacy protection program. They rate your site on the prominence of your privacy policy, your security measures for protecting sensitive information, how effectively your staff members are trained to handle privacy problems and which parties have access to the data and under what circumstances. Once you meet the criteria, these programs issue you a certification logo, which you can post directly on your site. A certification program takes time and money to implement, but it’s well worth the effort in the long run.

Customers should feel safe shopping on the Internet, and it’s our responsibility as retailers to let them know that their information is in good hands. We shouldn’t have to be told by Congress that we must do a better job guarding our customers’ right to privacy. As part of our sacred bond with shoppers, we should already be doing all we can to safeguard their most personal information.

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