Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Appealing to customers' sense of privacy

While watching CNN's coverage of the hurricane damage, I caught an ad for a company named e-loan. "Protecting Customer Privacy" was front a centre in the ad and I wandered over to the company's website. I can't say whether the company lives up to its commitment, but I am impressed with the stance they have taken and the things they say in the company's online privacy policy.

E-LOAN privacy policy.:


E-LOAN is dedicated to protecting the privacy of your information. E-LOAN is a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to enable individuals and organizations to establish trusting relationships based on respect for personal identity and information by promoting the use of fair information practices. This privacy statement covers the site Because this website wants to demonstrate its commitment to your privacy, it has agreed to disclose its information practices and have its privacy practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe.

We do not sell or share your information with third party marketers. So, there is no need for you to ask us not to. In fact, there is no need for you to opt-out of any information sharing because, unlike most financial institutions, we provide you with an opt-in. This means we won't share your information unless you explicitly tell us to, even though the law allows financial institutions to share your information unless and until you tell them not to. Additionally, although the law allows financial institutions to share your information with other financial institutions under a 'joint marketing agreement' without your consent, we don't.

Because we feel that current laws are inadequate in protecting your privacy, we've taken the liberty of providing you more privacy protections than the law requires. Now that you know some things we don't do, here's what we do: ..."

One thing to add, though: The TRUSTe program only applies to websites, so the TRUSTe seal does not extend to any licensee's offline activities.

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