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HP Global Citizenship Report

Privacy

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FY07 Global Citizenship Report

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Sophisticated technologies are transforming how organizations gather, compile, combine, store and apply personal and behavioral data, providing individuals better-targeted information but creating increasing risks to the fundamental human right to privacy. An activity that seems anonymous today, such as visiting a website without logging in, may be captured and later associated with an individual. Virtually anything can be recorded, including someone’s current and recent whereabouts, Internet searches, purchases and e-mail. While personal and behavioral data is a powerful resource for tailoring and marketing products and services, it could be misused if it’s not protected.

The movement of sensitive data across international borders presents another challenge. Information entered into a website in England may be stored in a database in the United States and used by call centers in India, Mexico and Spain, depending on the time of day. This constant flow of information allows companies to deliver products, services and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, the concept of privacy and its regulation in the country where data originates may differ dramatically from its destination.

These developments challenge traditional notions of how best to preserve people’s privacy and require fresh thinking about how to protect personal information.

HP products and services play an important role in keeping personal information secure, and we are pioneering an approach that goes beyond legal and industry norms. We hold ourselves to act accountable in all decisions related to privacy, reviewing them not only for compliance with the law, codes of conduct and our own privacy policies, but against our values, customer desires and expectations, and a range of potential risks in order to reach balanced results.

We believe that on its own, our strict commitment to privacy is not enough to guarantee that the rigorous standards to which we adhere will be consistently met. Responsible data handling in a global environment requires cooperation among companies and governments across borders. We work to educate government officials and other stakeholders about the implications of technological advances on privacy. We advocate that companies establish more rigorous standards and use greater accountability in decision-making to ensure that the way they obtain, use and safeguard sensitive information will meet individual expectations. We also believe that governments must find improved ways to enforce laws against data breach, misuse and fraud, and help consumers pursue those who mishandle their personal information. At the same time, these governments must do so in ways that respect the privacy interests of those they seek to protect.

HP was named the Most Trusted Company for Privacy for 2007 in America by TRUSTe, the leading Internet privacy seal-of-approval organization, in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute, an independent research group. The award recognizes companies that take active measures to protect and inform their consumers about privacy issues and to encourage a safer and more secure online ecosystem.

 

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