Last month, we received an overwhelming response when we asked readers to email us their thoughts on whether consumers value convenience over privacy in light of TJX's increased sales numbers after a security breach that exposed credit and debit card information for nearly 46 million customers. We have provided a sampling of the enthusiastic responses in our Reader Feedback section.

While it is difficult to predict how a breach will impact consumer behavior, smart, well-meaning businesses will not squander the hard-earned trust they have built with their loyal customers. These organizations have made a commitment from the outset to invest in privacy. They understand the returns they will reap from efforts to protect their customers' information and verify their identities online.

This month's stories look at the privacy undertakings and investments of a regional Pennsylvania bank and the complex, multi-pronged approach of the behemoth Microsoft Corp. The size of the privacy tasks and teams obviously are different in scope, but they underscore the importance of a proactive approach to privacy for companies in all sizes and sectors.

Microsoft's Chief Privacy Strategist, Peter Cullen, CIPP, told INSIDE 1to1: Privacy that one of the company's chief concerns in the near future is the "changing view of what is personally identifiable information (PII)." Some privacy experts are suggesting that an IP address has the potential to become PII, which Cullen says would change "every Internet application into a channel for notice and consent."

IP addresses, the address mechanism through which all Web content is delivered, are a ubiquitous part of our online world today. Bringing them into the definition of personal data would broaden drastically our concepts of the application of privacy law. Tell us what you think.

J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
Executive Director, IAPP


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