23 June 1998

  Associated Press, JUNE 23, 02:08 EDT

  Clinton Calls Internet Privacy Meeting 

  Associated Press Writer 

  WASHINGTON (AP) — To consider questions about how
  companies on the Internet are allowed to collect
  personal information from customers and what they can
  do with it afterward, critics and the online industry are
  meeting at an Internet privacy summit here. 

  Companies and the government want to encourage the
  growth of fledgling Internet commerce while balancing
  the privacy rights of consumers. Industry wants to
  develop its own rules and punishments. Privacy
  advocates want the government to write tough new
  privacy laws — now. 

  So far, the Clinton administration, wary of stifling
  business on the Internet with burdensome new laws,
  has indicated it will give companies more time to come
  up with ways to regulate themselves. 

  ``They have their eyes closed and their fingers crossed
  that it will all work out,'' complained Jeff Chester,
  executive director of the Washington-based Center for
  Media Education. ``The administration has been on its
  knees pleading with American high-tech companies to
  come up with measures to protect online privacy, and
  they've been met with a loud chorus of denials.'' 

  The Internet can be a corporate candyland of personal
  consumer information. Customers routinely respond to
  questionnaires on Web sites, providing their names,
  e-mail and postal addresses and other personal data. 

  Once a person provides identification to a Web site,
  companies can easily track which Web pages the person
  reads at that site. 

  Buy anything on the Internet — or just fill out one of
  those innocent-looking forms on a Web site — and a
  company can learn a lot about you: what you read,
  what you wear, maybe even information about your

  Until a person provides an identity, only relatively
  innocuous information can be collected behind the
  scenes, such as which kinds of software the person uses.

  ``Once an individual gives over information, that can be
  tied to a whole bunch of data about what you've done at
  a Web site or at a whole bunch of Web sites,'' said
  Deirdre Mulligan, a lawyer with the Washington-based
  Center for Democracy and Technology. ``That might
  reveal your preferences, your taste in books, your taste
  in politics or in clothes. It gives people the ability to
  create dossiers unparalleled in the offline world.'' 

  On the eve of the privacy summit, scheduled to begin
  today, nearly 50 large companies that sell products on
  the Internet formed a trade group Monday to convince
  the federal government that industry can police itself
  against abuse. 

  ``Think of it as an online neighborhood watch,'' said
  Christopher Caine, a vice president at IBM. 

  The companies include America Online, AT&T, Disney,
  Equifax, Microsoft, Netscape, Procter & Gamble and the
  largest personal computer makers. 

  They proposed that companies should not collect
  information online from any child under 13 without a
  parent's consent or without directly notifying parents.
  They also urged companies to tell customers what
  information is being collected and how it's used and to
  offer customers the chance to keep their personal data

  But, significantly, the Online Privacy Alliance did not
  announce how it will punish companies that violate its
  principles, saying its members ``are finalizing an
  enforcement and consumer redress policy.'' Caine said
  the group will announce its plan by Sept. 15. 

  ``Ultimately it is the consumer who is going to vote,''
  said Mary Whelan, a vice president at AT&T. ``As
  people begin to understand how much information is
  collected about them, they'll begin to ask questions.
  That will drive how businesses will behave.'' 

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 20:51:12 -0700 (PDT) To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net From: Michael Lamb <press@anonymizer.com> Subject: Anonymizer Represented At NTIA Privacy Conference         Anonymizer, Inc.         8415 La Mesa Bl. Ste. 3         La Mesa, CA  91941         United States of America http://www.anonymizer.com F O R   I M M E D I A T E   R E L E A S E DATE:   22 June, 1998       Contact:    Michael Lamb                                         (619) 220-8277         Commerce Conference Addresses Net Privacy Anonymizer CEO Cottrell Helps Promote Technological Solutions   San Diego -- Lance Cottrell, CEO of Anonymizer, Inc. will attend the conference on privacy hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, this Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, D.C.  As part of a panel chaired by reknowned privacy guru Esther Dyson and FCC deputy chief Elliott Maxwell, Cottrell will help address technological solutions to privacy problems on the Internet.  Interested media should contact Michael Lamb at (619) 220-8277.   Technology, not legislation, should be the first line of defense for personal privacy on the Internet.  "Technologies like The Anonymizer allow the public to protect themselves against any attacker anywhere," says Cottrell.  "Legal solutions are difficult to enforce, and ineffective in the large fraction of the Internet outside our borders."   Businesses which require customer information can join self regulatory groups such as TRUSTe, to earn the trust of customers.  Legal solutions do little to protect the privacy of users accross the Internet, while imposing significant burdens on small Web sites and requiring invasive monitoring by police.   Lance Cottrell, an expert on Internet privacy and security issues, may be interviewed for print, television, radio and Internet media, and may be available for interview while in Washington D.C. at the conference.  Contact publicity manager Michael Lamb at (619) 220-8277 for details. #  #  #