Sidebar: A Tool for Every Need

Many vendors offer privacy compliance tools, but each product addresses a different area of compliance.

Web Watchers

These products let administrators scan Web pages for P3P privacy policies, cookies and Web beacons used for tracking users; information collection practices; and links to other sites that could compromise privacy. Watchfire and Coast Software, for instance, aim to help companies monitor Web site content and activity for privacy compliance.

Traffic Monitors

Others vendors, such as Vericept and start-up Vontu, offer network content tracking products. Vericept's VIEW for Privacy Protection, for instance, uses linguistic and mathematical analysis to scan the network for content -- such as primary health information or employee data -- that doesn't comply with an organization's privacy policies or security boundaries, says product manager Roger Brown. The noncompliant data is logged, copied and reported. Vontu's product is designed more to prevent insider abuse and looks for specific pieces of proprietary information leaving the organization by e-mail, FTP or chat session, says Doug Camplejohn, a company vice president.

Content Checkers

Still other products are designed to protect content. Products from vendors such as Liquid Machines and Authentica allow companies to enforce privacy policies at the content level. The tools enable companies to allow or prevent actions such as reading, altering, copying and printing data based on a user's privileges for that document.

Transaction Tracking

One of the crucial differentiators in IBM's Tivoli Privacy Manager technology is its focus on real-time privacy enforcement. The middleware product uses privacy policies to control real-time access to database information from the application layer. With it, companies are able to enforce and audit policies related to how and when critical data can be accessed and used.

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