Monday, March 23, 2009

Privacy and the effect upon international transactions

Globalization and technologies such as the Internet have allowed many companies to conduct business internationally. This has been a great financial opportunity for these businesses. However, a major issue associated with international transactions is data privacy. Countries view privacy issues differently. For example, many U.S. companies use the opt-out model; consumer information is automatically released to partner companies unless otherwise requested by the owner of that information. The European Union, on the other hand, utilizes the principles of opt-in, in which a person’s personal information cannot be shared unless they give direct permission to the organization.

Understanding other countries’ privacy rules is a prerequisite for conducting business internationally. Examples of data privacy policies include the European Union’s Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, and Canada’s Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act . Data protection policies for many countries can be found here.

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