Internet Privacy Policies of the Largest International Companies in 2004 and 2006: A Review of U.S. and Non-U.S. Companies

Internet Privacy Policies of the Largest International Companies in 2004 and 2006: A Review of U.S. and Non-U.S. Companies

Alan R. Peslak (Penn State University, USA) and Norbert Jurkiewicz (Penn State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-822-2.ch005
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Abstract

This article is a review of Internet privacy policies of the world’s largest companies. The report begins with a background on the right to privacy and privacy issues arising out of Internet usage. Attempts to regulate Internet privacy and self-regulatory effectiveness are also reviewed. The methodology for this study is to update and extend Internet privacy analysis by analyzing websites of the largest international companies (the Forbes International 100) for inclusion of fair information practices. In addition, a collection of consumer centered practices is defined and studied. The study was initially done in 2004 but the same companies were revisited and reviewed in 2006. Though there was some improvement in results over the approximately two year period, the general finding remains that within the Forbes International 100, fair information practices and consumer centered privacy policies are not being closely followed. It is also found that large US firms are more likely to publish a privacy policy on their website than non-US firms. Finally, if a large international firm does publish a privacy policy on its website, the level of compliance with fair information practices and consumer centered policies is not significantly different between US and non-US firms. Implications of the study for researchers and practitioners are reviewed.

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