RealTime IT News

More Sponsors Join BBBOnLine Seal Program

BBBOnLine, a subsidiary of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc., said that two dozen major companies are now spearheading the creation of a privacy seal program to inspire confidence in Web consumers.

AMR Corp. (American Airlines and Travelocity), Eastman Kodak, Microsoft and US WEST are the most recent companies to provide leadership and funding for BBBOnLine's development of a privacy trustmark.

"With the support of these corporate leaders, we are well on our way to developing a privacy seal that consumers can look for and trust online," said Russell Bodoff, vice president and general manager of BBBOnLine. "We are confident that together we will create a program that satisfies consumers and sets a standard for ethical e-commerce in the next century."

TrustE has something of a head- start in the trustmark trade, but duplication of effort seems to be a hallmark of the Web.

Other companies supporting the BBB initiative are America Online, American Express, AT&T, Dell Computer, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, J.C. Penney, MCI Communications, NationsBank, New York Times Electronic Media, Norwest, Procter & Gamble, Reed Elsevier (parent company of LEXIS-NEXIS), Sony Electronics and Viacom.

BBBOnLine said its program will be the first privacy seal program to meet fully the guidelines for self-regulation, recommended by the Online Privacy Alliance and requested by the Administration. The seal will "guarantee" that businesses safeguard personal information collected and provide notices to people about how information is used.

The development of BBBOnLine's privacy seal program is nearly complete and will be operational early next year. BBBOnLine already operates a reliability seal program that began in April 1997 and currently has nearly 2,000 companies displaying the seal. Web shoppers can check out companies they do business with in cyberspace by clicking on the BBBOnLine icon to learn about a company's history and obtain contact information.