E-Business Busters

Myth No. 3: We don't need to worry about privacy.

Even though protecting the privacy of Internet customers has become the subject of a heated legal debate among consumer protection groups, business associations, government agencies and even the White House, many entrepreneurs still don't bother to publish a privacy policy on their Web sites.

"Small businesses don't fully appreciate the importance of privacy statements, and every Web site needs to have a comprehensive, thoughtful privacy statement," says Frey.

Privacy statements can be very broad-based and general. They're simply there to inform your customers that you don't intend to sell their personal information for profit to any third-party and that they are free to remove their names at any time from a mailing list they may have signed up for on your Web site. (For additional information on privacy and the Internet, see our May 1999 "Net Profits." You can find it at http://www.entrepreneur.com)

Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at mcampanelli@earthlink.net.

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: E-Business Busters.

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