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 N E W S R E L E A S E
 For Immediate Release
 26 October 2000
 Time for Industry to Lift its Game on Privacy

The Internet Industry Association, Australia's national internet and
e-commerce representative body, warned today that unless online businesses
moved to address privacy concerns, the information economy would not reach
its full potential in Australia, and would continue lagging the US.

IIA executive director, Peter Coroneos based this conclusion on the
results of the Andersen Legal survey released today, which assessed the
privacy practices of Australia's most frequently visited web sites.

"While the results show that IIA members significantly outperform
the industry average, and in most cases were approaching full compliance
with best practice, the same cannot be said of the industry generally,"
said Mr Coroneos.

"Consumer confidence is paramount if e-commerce is to grow here,"
said Mr Coroneos. "And the primary concerns remain privacy and information
security. Interestingly, unlike other concerns relating to internet usage,
worries about abuse of personal information do not seem to diminish as
experience on the Net grows. Industry must therefore play its part in
meeting those concerns by putting meaningful policies in place, then
sticking to them."

"The Andersen survey results clearly vindicate our Association's
decision in 1998 to push privacy as a key initiative for the internet
industry in Australia. This concern has driven the development of IIA's
privacy code, the formation of our privacy taskforce last year and our
1998 approach to the government seeking co-regulatory support through
legislation*. Clearly these initiatives are bearing fruit within our
membership. However, we are disappointed that the majority of non-member
sites are still far from compliant with what most internet users would
regard as reasonable protections."

"That must change if the internet is to shake off any perception
that it is unsafe for commerce," said Mr Coroneos. "Even though the
privacy legislation has yet to pass the Senate, there is no reason for
industry to stand still waiting. We hope these findings will encourage
firms to embrace good privacy policy as an integral part of their
e-business strategies."

 *In 1998, the IIA wrote to Prime Minister John Howard urging him to
reconsider his then opposition to legislating to support private sector
pro-privacy initiatives, and to create a catch-all cover for businesses
not prepared to self regulate. A copy of the letter which sets out the
Association's concerns is available at www.iia.net.au/news/981012.html)

The IIA established an Online Privacy Taskforce last year. Comprised of
representatives from member businesses, the taskforce will help refine
best practice standards as the industry evolves, and will ensure that the
IIA code remains in accordance with the requirements of Australia's
privacy laws once enacted.

In spite of resistance in the US to a legislated solution and some
well publicised cases of abuse, the comparative results still show a
greater compliance among US internet sites with certain core
responsibilities. However, the IIA anticipates that once the privacy laws
are in place here, Australia would overtake the US in terms of adherence
to uniform best practice standards.

Launch of the report

The Andersen Legal survey results would be released later today and
would be available at http://www.iia.net.au. A launch of the report
would take place at the offices of Andersen Legal in Sydney and will be
officiated by the Federal Attorney General, The Hon Daryl Williams, AM,
QC, MP. Media inquiries for attending the launch should be directed to Ms
Julia Davenport on (02) 9996 6600. For media comment on this release see
details below.

About the IIA

The Internet Industry Association is Australia's national Internet
industry organisation. Members include telecommunications carriers;
content creators and publishers; web developers; e-commerce traders and
solutions providers; hardware vendors; systems integrators; banks,
insurance underwriters; Internet law firms, ISPs; educational and training
institutions; Internet research analysts; and a range of other businesses
providing professional and technical support services. On behalf of its
members, the IIA provides policy input to government and advocacy on a
range of business and regulatory issues, to promote laws and initiatives
which enhance access, equity, reliability and growth of the medium within

 For further comment on this release, please contact:
 Mr Peter Coroneos
 Executive Director
 Internet Industry Association (IIA)
 Mobile: 0419 552 872
 Phone: +61 2 6232 6900
 (for TTY callers, please call 133 677
 and ask for 6232 6900)

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