In a move that is sure to bolster the use of privacy policies, IBM Corp., which plans to spend about $60 million on online ads this year, said Wednesday it will withdraw advertising from Web sites that don’t safeguard the personal data of consumers.
“As research indicates, people are becoming increasingly willing to do e- business,” IBM said in the letter. “However, there are key elements that will contribute to this growing acceptance. Particularly, that sites and organizations protect the security of transactions and privacy of personal information.”
IBM said its new policy is based on principles of self-regulation that are supported by leading business-supported organizations in the United States such as the Online Privacy Alliance, TRUSTe, BBBOnline and FASTforward; as well as international policy organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
“While the appropriate privacy statement will vary from site to site,” IBM said in its letter, “we strongly encourage Web-site owners to employ industry best privacy practices We have surveyed the Web sites that currently carry IBM advertising, and will continue to do so on a regular basis.”
IBM, reportedly the No. 2 advertiser on the Internet behind Microsoft Corp., estimates that only about 30% of the 800 sites where it advertises worldwide make such disclosures.