Online Privacy Alliance

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The Online Privacy Alliance (or "OPA")[1] was a cross-industry coalition of more than 80 global companies and associations, including some of the biggest names in e-commerce, formed in 1998 with the aim of providing a unified voice for companies in the Internet industry to contribute to the definition of privacy policy for the Internet.

The group's stated mission was to lead and support self-regulatory initiatives that "create an environment of trust and ... foster the protection of individuals' privacy online and in electronic commerce."

History of activities[edit]

The Online Privacy Alliance began meeting formally in the spring of 1998. In June, the Alliance announced its creation, membership, mission and guidelines.

The Alliance provided a framework for debate and a forum for attracting companies engaged in e-commerce across a wide variety of sectors -- technology, telecommunications, publishing, entertainment, marketing, finance, consumer, and more.

The Alliance's last press release[2] was issued in November 1999

The Principles of the Online Privacy Alliance formed the cornerstone of the Principles later created by the Network Advertising Initiative or NAI.

Stated objectives[edit]

The Alliance's stated objectives are as follows: Identify and advance effective online privacy policies across the private sector

A. Support and foster the development and use of self-regulatory enforcement mechanisms and activities, as well as user empowerment technology tools, designed to protect individuals' privacy

B. Support compliance with and strong enforcement of applicable laws and regulations;

C. Support and foster the development and use of practices and policies that protect the privacy of children

D. Promote broad awareness of and participation in Alliance initiatives by businesses, non-profits, policy makers and consumers

E. Seek input and support for Alliance initiatives from consumer, business, academic, advocacy and other organizations that share its commitment to privacy protection.

OPA Guidelines for Online Privacy Policies[edit]

Upon joining the Online Privacy Alliance, each member organization agreed that its policies for protecting individually identifiable information in an online or electronic commerce environment would meet the requirements of the OPA's Guidelines, with customization and enhancement as appropriate to its own business or industry sector.

Membership organizations[edit]

While the initial count of membership organizations was 80, this has since dwindled to around 30, as follows:

Member Companies[edit]

Member Associations[edit]


  1. ^ Online Privacy Alliance
  2. ^ Alliance's last press release