RealTime IT News

IBM Launches Privacy Consulting Unit

IBM Corp. Thursday became the latest company to address computer privacy issues and comply with upcoming European regulations, by launching a joint privacy consulting service with the Privacy Consulting Group (PCG).

The new service is designed to help businesses identify their privacy strengths and weaknesses, and help them create, assess and monitor their information privacy policies and procedures. The service will be provided for both American and international companies

Specifically, IBM and PCG will help businesses comply with the European Union (EU) Directive on Data Protection that takes effect Oct. 24. The directive requires EU member states to adopt and enforce uniform privacy laws. Companies not meeting the requirements could be prohibited from transferring information outside the EU unless specific requirements are met.

"Practically every company doing business on the Web today collects some kind of personal data with each transaction," said Neil Isford, vice president, e-business services at IBM Global Services. "Knowing the right way to collect, manage and protect the privacy of this data is becoming increasingly important for all businesses--large and small."

"There are very specific things businesses will need to know about how to protect the privacy of the personal data they collect and steps they will have to take to comply with a variety of industry and government guidelines," he said. "IBM's privacy consulting service is designed to help them create and enable effective, proactive strategies that address these and other privacy-related issues."

The Privacy Consulting group is led by privacy authority Alan Westin and attorney Robert Belair.