By Jay Cline, CIPP

Have you ever wished there was one Web site where you could direct any employee or consumer anywhere in the world to get up to speed on personal privacy protection? Sandy Hughes of the Procter & Gamble Company may have granted your wish.

With a steady stream of phishing attacks against its brands, consumer agility with email and the Internet has also become a bottom-line factor at P&G. To help meet both objectives, Hughes, CIPP, has launched one of the most innovative consumer-education Web sites in the privacy space.

"Protecting our consumers means more than providing them with a consumer privacy policy, said Hughes, Global Ethics, Compliance and Privacy Executive. "Our goal is to be in touch with our consumers and educate them on how to protect their personally identifiable information online."

To understand how privacy has become integral to the consumer-goods conglomerate, some background about the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company is needed. James Gamble and William Procter founded P&G in 1837 to sell soap and candles. Since then, the corporation has grown to employ 138,000 in 80 countries, and generates $76 billion in annual revenues. According to the P&G annual report, 23 of its globally known brands top $1 billion in annual sales. The company estimates that its products are used three billion times each day by 200 million people in 180 countries.

Hughes told INSIDE 1to1: Privacy  that P&G's CEO summarizes the company's sales strategy with one imperative: "the consumer is boss." To this end, P&G aims to win the "first moment of truth" in the store where the shopper is looking at a shelf stocking both P&G and competitor products. The company also strives to win the "second moment of truth" when the consumer uses the product. Part of prevailing in these key moments is building trusted relationships with end consumers.

"Trust is a cornerstone of our corporate mission," says CEO A.G. Lafley on P&G's Global Online Privacy Statement. "P&G is committed to maintaining your trust by protecting all personal information collected online."

P&G's Chief Operating Officer, Bob McDonald, is the corporate sponsor of the privacy program and is personally involved.

With backing like this, P&G has taken a leadership role in privacy outreach. The company was one of the first to join the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor program when it was seen as highly risky. Hughes also championed industry efforts to develop privacy standards for Radio Frequency Identification. Beginning next month, Hughes will take over as President of the IAPP.

"P&G strives to be a leader in all areas of our business including marketing, innovation, and now privacy," stated Hughes. "Senior management is extremely supportive of this work because it affects our consumers, as well as our bottom line."

Deploying a consumer-education Web site was a logical progression for P&G's privacy program. When Hughes first saw a need for a one-stop-shop for people to learn how to protect themselves and their families from privacy threats, she couldn't find a Web site that contained all the information she was looking for. So Hughes developed her own content and began contacting entities such as TRUSTe, the Better Business Bureau, the Direct Marketing Association, and the Federal Trade Commission to get permission to link the content in her Personal Privacy Tips Web site to their sites.

One part of the P&G site, for example, coaches people on what to zero-in on in a privacy policy. Other parts of the site dispel myths and generally attempt to reduce the fear of the information society.

Where does Hughes plan to take the site?

"On my list for future articles are topics such as understanding privacy on social networking sites, tips for parents on protecting and educating their children, and whatever other topics readers suggest to us via our 'contact us' feature."

The next time you're dropping household goods into your shopping cart, ask yourself why you've just chosen the more expensive, known brands.  By doing so, you may discover another way quality and privacy are part of your own company's future.

Cline is President of Minnesota Privacy Consultants and can be reached at cline@minnesotaprivacy.com.


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 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 Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

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»