eBay and Verizon – do they deserve privacy awards?

According to Dana Oshiro at ReadWriteWeb, the 6,486 consumers that took part of a survey conducted by Ponemon Institute and TRUSTe about the privacy policies and practices of leading consumer brands, must have lost their long term memories.

Why is that? Well, the survey proclaims eBay and Verizon are “Most Trusted Companies for Privacy” and puts them at the top of the list of companies that were judged based on clarity and readability of privacy statements, notice, access to account information, cookie management, in- and out-of-network data sharing practices, as well as the availability of customer service staff.

Ms. Oshiro is of the opinion that the results of the survey reflect more the idea than the execution – privacy policies are all good and well, but what about privacy practices? She asks: “Have those consumers forgotten about the privacy breach of eBay-owned Skype’s Chinese partner TOM Online, when it was discovered that that company was collecting politically charged messages? And wasn’t it Verizon that illegally used client information and wanted to share it with affiliates?”

Well, it seems that they have. According to Ponemon’s chairman and founder, the Most Trusted Companies for Privacy study “is a fascinating snapshot of public sentiment toward business.”

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