Privacy & American Business Projects' Aims

With consumer fears about privacy on the rise and government testing business' resolve to adopt privacy policies or face legislation and regulation, companies are challenged to find ways to assure the confidentiality of their customers' data. In this climate, with the EU Directive in effect and the growth of e-commerce, smart business leaders are seeking tested guidance for themselves and their staff in understanding and addressing the privacy revolution.

For corporations that collect and use personal information, ignoring legislative and regulatory warning signs can be a costly mistake. Several important factors suggest that the 107th Congress has the resolve to enact privacy legislation in key areas, including medical records, the Internet, and financial information. Thus, the need for companies to develop and put into place privacy policies is more important than ever. In order to assist companies in understanding new burgeoning data protection trends, P&AB has developed authoritative and time-tested Corporate Projects and resources. Through its activities, P&AB aims to provide:

  " High-value information and unique assistance in projects for corporate members seeking to be leaders in their industries nationally and globally on consumer privacy
  " Business-oriented viewpoints, experiences, and proposals in the privacy debates engaging advocacy groups, government officials, and privacy experts
  " Expertise in helping business leaders better understand and manage data protection and privacy issues throughout their organizations.
  " Resources to help inform individuals within the corporate structure so that all staff are on the same page with privacy developments.

Corporate Projects

P&AB's corporate projects address complex data protection issues across industry and national lines. Each year, P&AB develops new corporate projects and conferences to address a rapidly changing environment and keep organizations well ahead of the privacy curve. Participation in P&AB's corporate projects also assists in underwriting the organization's reputation for balance through research and surveys that are extensively cited at federal and state regulatory proceedings, legislative hearings, and government task forces on privacy issues. Under the direction of Dr. Alan F. Westin, P&AB has become the most authoritative and effective non-partisan voice for a balanced approach to consumer privacy issues. P&AB is an activity of the Center for Social and Legal Research, a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity. Contributions made to the organization and memberships in P&AB's corporate projects may offer tax-deductible incentives. P&AB's diverse group of corporate projects include:

" The Corporate Privacy Officers' Program 2002. Privacy & American Business' Corporate Privacy Officer 2002 Program is a comprehensive sustained year-long professional development initiative to support those managing privacy at every level, across industries, both on and offline.

 " The Grantors Program 2001 is funded by top-tier U.S. corporations that understand the need to support P&AB in its research and polling capacities. Grantor funds support P&AB's role as a non-partisan, non-profit organization that examines business-privacy issues critically. Grantor funds underwrite P&AB's empirical research, development of innovative corporate privacy programs and important benchmark surveys of consumer opinions, which have all earned it the reputation of being the credible commentator. Without Grantor support, the field would all too often be left to the advocates. Grantor organizations have included: American Express, AT&T/AT&T WorldNet, Bell Atlantic, Buyer's Choice, Citicorp, Equifax, Ernst & Young, Experian, MasterCard, MCI, Media One, The Polk Company, Privaseek, Trans Union, U S West,Versizon and VISA USA. Please contact Olga Garvey at (201)996-1154 or to find out how to become a P&AB grantor.

 " The Global Business Privacy Project is our richest corporate project; it is an omnibus program that straddles both the domestic and global arenas. Providing members with a seat at each of our smaller programs (described below), the Global Project is a proven program that assists managers, staff leaders and company policymakers to better fulfill their corporate responsibilities in addressing rising privacy issues on many levels. It now covers more business functions and provides more information than ever to help leaders better manage privacy issues throughout their organizations from top to bottom.

 " The Model Contracts Project helps multinationals operating within the EU address how to meet effectively the imposts of the European Union Data Protection Directive. Different business units within a single organization may potentially become the target of costly fines, adverse publicity, private lawsuits, and/or transborder data flow stoppages in EU member states if their handling of confidential customer and employee data is not found to be compliant with the Directive. The EU Directive states that if a company executes a contract that meets the EU Directive's data protection standards, and has acceptable remedies and procedures under that contract, this may allow for a case-by-case approval by national data protection authorities. P&AB has been developing over the past two years a customizable model contract that companies can use for their Customer and Human Resources databases, Information Systems and Intranets. The 1999 Model Contracts Project is moving rapidly to seek key endorsements of our model contract for use by organizations in: pharmaceuticals; customer databases & direct marketing; insurance; personnel & Human Resources; financial services & credit; travel & reservation systems; telecommunications, information systems, Internet commerce, and others. (For late-breaking details on our model contract endorsement discussions with German and European data protection officials, click here.) To find out how your organization can become a member of the Model Contracts Project, please contact P&AB.

P&AB Resources

 " The Privacy & American Business newsletter is the most often-cited national publication covering business-privacy issues. P&AB has taken the lead in reporting and analyzing privacy developments in financial services, credit, insurance, health/medical, telecommunications, electronic media, direct marketing, and employment in the U.S. and abroad. Please contact us about special subscription rates.

 " is a free online global information resource and forum for business executives, government regulators, public-interest groups, experts and media organizations interested in global consumer privacy issues both off and on the Internet. The site is maintained by the Center for Social and Legal Research, P&AB's parent organization. Currently, a distinguished group of companies, industry associations and law firms provide the funding to organize and staff the site. Since its launch, the site has become a wellspring of continuously-updated information. Kudos have come from Vice President Al Gore, The Wall Street Journal, and data protection officials from Europe, Japan, and Canada. We encourage a visit.

 " A unique and important feature of PrivacyExchange is the free weekly e-mail NewsFlash service, which delivers updates on the latest developments in data protection worldwide. To receive this NewsFlash service at your desktop, please send a message to with the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

 " Our annual national Managing the Privacy Revolution Conference is the nation's No. 1 business-privacy conference. It attracts more than 300 attendees from companies, industry associations, federal and state governments, consumer and privacy groups, academia, and the media from the United States and abroad. Given privacy's rise on both corporate and government agendas, we are anticipating an even greater turnout at our Eleventh Annual Conference in 2005. For business leaders that deal with consumer's personal information in insurance, banking, securities, consumer credit, direct marketing, telecommunications and information services, online or across national borders, this is the conference one simply can't afford to miss.

 " The CPO and Practitioner's Privacy Policy Workshop is an excellent one-day hands-on forum that provides the tools for companies seeking help with developing their own privacy policy. Companies with privacy policies already in place learn how to monitor their policies' effectiveness, how to audit them and how to identify the flags that signal a need for policy updating. Audiocassettes from last year's Practitioner's Workshop, which are excellent learning and teaching tools, are still available. (Click here to download an order form.) Staffers from various business units within companies with job functions in Consumer Affairs, Government Relations, Direct Marketing, Information Management, and Human Resources, among others, will benefit from these audiocassettes.