IBM Leads e-business Privacy Initiative with Exclusive New Services

Helping Companies Build Consumer Trust

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SOMERS, N.Y - 16 Jul 1999: -- IBM today announced powerful privacy consulting services that help businesses implement privacy policies, procedures, and technologies as well as provide insight into how to build consumer trust in today's networked world.

The core of IBM Global Services' privacy consulting services is a new methodology that delivers a clear plan for privacy readiness. The tool-assisted methodology shows the steps involved and the questions that need to be addressed to set up the right privacy policies and systems.

"The fact that IBM has institutionalized its privacy intellectual capital into a tool means that the company can identify both the hard costs such as new systems and upgrades," said Ellen Carney, director and principal analyst, Dataquest, "but also the 'soft' costs that many potential customers didn't even consider."

IBM says those soft costs can range from enabling enterprises to provide products and services to customers seamlessly across internal business units without re-entering data to creating customer loyalty programs.

Privacy services are designed to address specific customer requirements and are based on work with IBM researchers, global service professionals and industry experts. They already are being used by several large companies to more easily understand and implement the policies and procedures needed to protect personal information that is collected and maintained on customers and employees.

"The growth of electronic commerce depends on trust," said Gary Roboff, chairman of Banking Industry Technology Secretariat (BITS) Research & Planning Steering Committee, which focuses on privacy issues. "These new services can help companies such as banks build that trust, and show individuals -- the customers of our customers -- that they are protected by a thoughtful, comprehensive privacy program."

IBM's privacy services address other, more complicated aspects of privacy: identifying the types of information being gathered and processed; ensuring consumers get proper notification of how their personal information will be used; and designing dynamic systems that can change with customer needs.

"IBM is one of the leading companies that understands e-business will continue to flourish only if business itself understands and tackles consumer and government concerns over privacy," said Christine Varney, advisor for the Online Privacy Alliance and a former Federal Trade Commissioner. "Their move to share their expertise with other companies is a welcome sign that the marketplace is responding to the challenges of the Information Age."

These privacy services will be delivered in conjunction with the Privacy Consulting Group, led by prominent privacy authority, Dr. Alan Westin, combining PCG's three decades of experience and leadership in privacy advocacy with IBM Global Services' customer expertise and extensive consulting resources.

The two core elements of IBM's new privacy services include:

-- A privacy workshop, that helps decision-makers identify strategies for responsible handling of customer information. It also defines management action plans. Such strategies enable companies to provide Web-based services that meet their customers' privacy expectations in concert with applicable laws and regulations.-- Privacy strategy and implementation, that helps businesses develop and implement an effective consumer and employee privacy strategy. The resulting implementation can help define an effective privacy policy, address issues such as e-business, data warehousing and data mining, and customer relationships. An additional aspect of this service presents ways to position a company for increased customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.

As part of the new privacy services, IBM can use a tool to help businesses assess the size and scope of their privacy project. The pricing and length of engagement for IBM privacy services range, depending on the scope of work.

"IBM built its own privacy systems three decades ago," said Neil Isford, vice president, e-commerce, IBM Global Services."We want to make that same experience, use of tested tools and technologies, and commitment to solid standards available to all our customers."

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with 1998 revenues of approximately $29 billion. Services is the fastest growing part of IBM, with more than 130,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries. IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities -- services, hardware, software and research -- to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of information technology. For more information visit

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IBM and the e-business logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

Registered trademark of Dataquest Incorporated, a subsidiary of Gartner Group, Inc.

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