Title

The Rhetoric of Misdirection in Corporate Privacy-Policy Statements

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2005

Abstract

U.S. businesses wish to continue to profit by collecting personal information from their website visitors, yet they fear that the practice both alienates visitors and exposes them both to legal problems from U.S. authorities and business sanctions from data-privacy authorities in Europe and Canada. This dilemma is reflected in the typical corporate privacy-policy statement, which is full of misleading and deceptive rhetoric intended to cover up the gap between the company's privacy policy and the image it wishes to project.

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