Disney, GO Network Adopt Advertiser Privacy Policy

Walt Disney Co.’s Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG) and Infoseek Corp., home of the GO Network, said they will no longer accept or purchase Internet-based advertising from Web sites that don’t post clear privacy policies.

The new policy, which applies to GO Network and Buena Vista Internet Group Web sites including Disney.com, ESPN.com, Family.com, ABC.com and ABCNEWS.com, becomes effective Oct. 1.

Privacy policies must address the collection and use of personal information gathered online, the companies said.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it would only advertise on sites that post “comprehensive” privacy policies. Microsoft is the biggest advertiser on the Web, spending more than $34 million last year on Internet advertising.

“Since 1996, Disney has worked with various government and advocacy organizations to develop thoughtful, responsible and comprehensive standards related to the gathering of personal data from online consumers, particularly children,” said Steve Wadsworth, Buena Vista Internet Group president.

“We feel it is mission critical to the continued growth of the Internet that the industry take active steps to increase consumer confidence and deliver private-sector solutions to concerns regarding online privacy protections.”

“Consumers expect and deserve a detailed explanation of how their personal information is being collected and used,” said Harry Motro, president and CEO of Infoseek. “. . .we’re extending our policy to assure users a consistent level of privacy consideration throughout their GO Network experience.”

BVIG and Infoseek said they will not dictate the contents of the privacy policies, except to ensure that they follow the recommended guidelines of the Online Privacy Alliance.

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