Webcon Ad_300x250_NYMITY_FINAL

By Don Peppers and Martha Rogers Ph.D.

Investments in privacy have delivered for E-Loan, including high consumer marks for privacy that continue to improve.

According to the leading American benchmark on this question – the TRUSTe/Ponemon Institute Most Trusted Company for Privacy survey – E-LOAN, Inc. ranked 17th in 2004, 16th in 2005, and 3rd in 2006.

“E-LOAN rated highly again in 2007,” said Larry Ponemon, who is about to release this year’s survey results.

The Customer Respect Group also gives high marks to the Pleasanton, California-based lender, ranking it first in privacy in the financial services sector in 2005 and 2006, and third overall out of the 464 companies it evaluates.

This kind of success can put high CEO expectations on Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) Tess Koleczek to keep those numbers up. But before launching into the details of how Koleczek plans to continue earning these well-deserved accolades, it would be useful to start at the beginning of this privacy success story.

Chris Larsen started the company in 1997 to make the mortgage process easier and more transparent, later diversifying into home-equity lines of credit, home refinancing and auto loans. In 2005, Popular, Inc., a Puerto Rican-based bank, acquired E-LOAN, and Mark Lefanowicz took over as CEO. The firm now employs 950, has originated $32 billion in loans since its inception, and has added student loans and savings products to its portfolio.

How did this David outrank the financial Goliaths in the privacy rankings? In short: publicity and performance. Larsen had been an outspoken advocate of transparency and privacy in his industry, donating $1 million in 2004 toward what became the California Financial Information Privacy Act. This, plus E-LOAN’s prominent placement with eBay auto sales and its decision to offer customers the ability to opt out of offshoring their data, has given the company the kind of public exposure needed to score well on Ponemon’s consumer survey.

E-LOAN’s Web site also gives more coverage to the privacy topic than what is typical for a financial company. It’s adopted a strict no-data-sharing policy and comprehensive procedures for vendor assurance and employee privacy training. These factors have positioned it well for the Customer Respect Group assessments.

“Maintaining the strictest of privacy standards has been a top priority from day one at E-LOAN,” said Koleczek, a Chicago native who started as CPO in December 2002 and reports to the CEO.

While many CPOs are internally focused, still struggling to bring their enterprises into compliance with the relevant standards and regulations, Koleczek plans to pursue an externally oriented project list for 2007.

“This spring, I'll work closely with our marketing department to increase the visibility of our privacy practices and achievements,” she said. “The result should be a higher conversion rate for customers coming to our Web site.”

Koleczek said she also will be initiating a community-service project to increase customer awareness about credit-assistance resources.

“I plan to work with consumer groups to support legislation that truly is in the best interest of consumers,” she added. “E-LOAN has always been a strong voice for consumer respect, so this year will be no different.”

So if your company ends up this month on the TRUSTe/Ponemon marquee, don’t take too long to celebrate. Take E-LOAN as an example: The need is immediate for a game plan to keep that rating up.


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

Latin America Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from Latin America

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Get more News »

IAPP Communities

Meet locally with privacy pros, dive deep into specialized topics or connect over common interests. Find your Community in KnowledgeNet Chapters, Sections and Affinity Groups.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Talk privacy and network with local members at IAPP KnowledgeNet Chapter meetings, taking place worldwide.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

NEW! Raise Staff Awareness

Equip all your data-handling staff to reduce privacy risk, with Privacy Core™ e-learning essentials.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The GDPR requires 75,000 DPOs

What’s the formula for DPO success? IAPP CIPP/E and CIPM training, certifications and our global privacy conferences.

Upcoming Web Conferences

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Team

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

NEW! FIP Designation

Recognizing the advanced knowledge and issue-spotting skills a privacy pro must attain in today’s complex world of data privacy.

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

IAPP-OneTrust PIA Platform

Simplify privacy impact assessments with this cloud-based customizable platform - free to IAPP members!

72% say privacy is now a board-level concern

Find out more about privacy governance in the IAPP-EY Annual Privacy Governance Report 2016.

Privacy Vendor List

Find a privacy vendor to meet your needs with our filterable list of global service providers.

IAPP Communities

Meet locally with privacy pros, dive deep into specialized topics or connect over common interests. Find your Community in KnowledgeNet Chapters, Sections and Affinity Groups.

More Resources »

Time to Get to Work at the Congress

It's almost here! Thought leadership, a thriving community and unrivaled education...the Congress prepares you for the challenges ahead. Register now!

Plan for the Summit

The world’s premier privacy conference returns with the sharpest minds, unparalleled programs and preeminent networking opportunities. Registration opens December 19!

Intensive Education at the Practical Privacy Series

This year's Series spotlights Data Breach, FTC and Consumer Privacy, GDPR and Government privacy issues. It’s the education you need NOW. Early bird ends Nov. 4!

Speak at the Symposium

The call for speakers is open! The Symposium returns to Toronto this Spring and programming is now underway. Looking to share your privacy prowess? Submit by November 20!

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»