As the July 1 deadline nears, insurers have developed and begun to distribute their privacy policies to customers, but most companies in general haven't thought about privacy as a component of customer relationship management (CRM), industry observers say."No one is looking at privacy from the perspective of how can we establish a value proposition in which the customers will say, 'yes, please share my information,'" says Peter Reid, privacy director at Fiderus, a Research Triangle, N.C.-based security and privacy consulting firm. Privacy can be good for business-as opposed to something that is being legislated, he says.

The majority of Americans are "privacy pragmatists," according to Dr. Alan Westin, president and publisher of Privacy & American Business at the Center for Social and Legal Research, Hackensack, N.J., who conducted a survey last year with Opinion Research Corp. and ChoicePoint Inc.

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