Greetings from PX's Director

Welcome to PrivacyExchange, which has been formally up and running since December 1, 1998.

A few words of explanation about our concepts, scope, and plans may be helpful.

1. Our focus is on consumers and commerce, itself a vast area but not the entire landscape of information and data protection issues. We will not be covering citizen privacy issues, and we will treat employment issues only as they are involved in transborder data transfer.

2. We will provide the fullest range of viewpoints and reflect all of the competing interests involved in consumer and data protection issues. We will be covering the contributions of officials and experts from government, business, academia, information technology, the legal profession, the media, and consumer groups.

3. We believe that the next ten years will see issues of consumer privacy and data protection take on even more importance than in the first four decades of the computer revolution. More and more nations will be drafting national laws on privacy and data protection; more individual businesses and industry associations will be adopting privacy codes and measures to assure their full implementation and verification, and provide procedures for resolving any consumer complaints that arise.

4. Most importantly, the dramatic expansion of the Internet will see hundreds of millions of individuals obtaining information, products, and services from websites along the new global marketplace. A similarly vast audience will be using the Internet to engage in an unprecedented global interpersonal communication process, sometimes one-to-one and sometimes in groups. Both the e-commerce and the e-communication explosions will generate rising pressure for some kind of worldwide privacy standards and practices.

5. The Center for Social and Legal Research continues to workin this exciting but challenging setting with an outstanding group of expert advisors from national and regional data protection commissions, multinational and international agencies, consumer protection agencies, business and industry specialists, technology experts, and academic-legal authorities to keep PrivacyExchange timely and informative.

6. PrivacyExhange is a free global information resource made possible by grants from an initial group of sponsoring companies and associations in the United States, Canada, and Germany, who saw the vital importance of constructive dialogue and creative work in the areas of data protection involving consumers and commerce. (You will find the list of our Sponsors in the "About This Site" section of our Menu.)

7. Please check out our How To Use This Site guide in the "About This Site" section. Look us over. Surf us. Try our search engine. And, please let us know how we can improve our content, presentations, and services. We warmly invite your comments and suggestions. You'll find instructions on communicating with us in the Feedback section of "About This Site.")

Alan F. Westin,
Director, PrivacyExchange.Org

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