Industry Privacy Alliance Formed

(June 23, 1998)  A large group of computer and Internet industry companies and associations announced on Monday the creation of the Online Privacy Alliance, a coalition committed to protecting privacy in cyberspace.  The announcement came the day before a two day conference on privacy hosted by the Department of Commerce.  Industry and the Commerce Department support industry self-regulation, in contrast to the Federal Trade Commission, which is seeking more power to regulate privacy on the Internet.

The planning of the Online Privacy Alliance began three months ago.  Former FTC Commissioner Christine Varney is an advisor to the group.   Many representatives of its member companies and groups will participate in the Department of Commerce conference.

Related Story: Commerce Department Holds Two Day Privacy Conference, 6/23/98.

Members joining the Alliance agree to support and foster the development and use of self-regulatory enforcement mechanisms and activities, as well as technology that helps protect privacy.

The Alliance children's policy states that sites intended for children must not collect online contact information from a child under 13 without prior parental consent or without direct parental notification of the nature and intended use of the information.

Online Privacy Alliance members include Acxiom, American Advertising Federation, American Electronics Association, America Online, AT&T, Bay Networks, Bell Atlantic, CASIE (representing Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies), Cisco, Compaq, Dell, Direct Marketing Association, Disney, Dun & Bradstreet, eBay Inc, EDS, E-LOAN, Equifax, Ernst and Young, Ford, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Individual Reference Services Group, Information Industry Association, Information Technology Association of America, Information Technology Industry Council, Interactive Services Association, Kodak, LEXIS-NEXIS, Lucent Technologies, MatchLogic, MCI, Microsoft, NationsBank, NCR, NETCOM Online Communications Services, Inc., Netscape, Oracle, Preview Travel, Price Waterhouse, Procter & Gamble, Sun Microsystems, Time Warner, United States Council for International Business, Viacom, and Xerox.