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The Privacy Debate Continues... An expert speaks out about the importance of privacy policies and data security.

By Aliza P. Sherman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Having privacy and data security policies in place before you goonline is critical to managing potential issues down the road.Jerry Johnson, senior vice president of issues management at globaltechnology PR agency Brodeur Worldwide, offers his tips for"positive positioning in the privacy debate."

  • Make your privacy policy and data security a part of your dailybusiness operations. Be sure that within your organization thereare clear lines of responsibility for the implementation andmaintenance of your company's privacy policies. E-commercecompanies need both a policy and a process to monitor how wellprivacy policies are being enforced. Companies must also adaptthose policies as new industry standards are developed.
  • Establish a de-facto chief privacy officer (CPO). Whether inname or function, companies involved in e-commerce should have acentral point of contact for all privacy matters. According to therecently established Association of Corporate Privacy Officers, aCPO should wear many hats, from being a privacy policymaker,watchdog and enforcer to being an advisor to the CEO and a customerombudsman. A CPO should also be concerned about how a privacypolicy can enhance a brand.
  • Know how to communicate your privacy policy, both internallyand externally. Make sure your company's privacy policies arenot only understood by top management but throughout the entireorganization. See that management is given the proper tools sopolicies are enforced. Don't assume that because your privacypolicies are the "industry standard" they'll passmuster with customers and the media.
  • Know the privacy and data policies of your partners. Yourprivacy policies may be terrific, but what about those of yourbusiness, distribution and marketing partners? Increasingly,companies are being held liable for the privacy policies of theirvendors and business partners.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl:A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books).She is currently working on her next book and new company.

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, e-entrepreneur and author of eight books, including

PowerTools for Women in Business.

Her work can be found at mediaegg.com.

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