Derivion takes privacy personally

Electronic billing service provider Derivion recently announced that it has joined the Personalization Consortium in an effort to gain information about consumer privacy.

The Personalization Consortium is an international advocacy group formed to promote the development and use of responsible one-to-one marketing technology and practices on the Web, according to the organization.

Consumer privacy has been found to be a key discouraging factor when paying bills on-line, according to a study conducted by Gallup Canada for Toronto-based Derivion.

According to Derivion’s co-founder and CTO, Dushyant Sharma, the main focus of the Personalization Consortium is to focus on consumer privacy.

“Derivion gets access to the research and as well gets access to the information related to privacy and how it is being addressed,” Sharma said. “Derivion can now incorporate that into either policies and procedures or into the technology.”

Sharma explained that as part of the consortium, Derivion’s main goal is to make its business customers comfortable by relaying information obtained through the consortium to its customers.

Completely membership-driven, the consortium was co-founded in spring of 2000 by Eric Hansen, previously in the consulting service space.

“The idea to start the consortium was…we found that there was a lot of confusion around the emerging niche of personalization in the CRM space,” Hansen said.

The consortium describes personalization as the use of technology and customer information to tailor responsible e-commerce interactions between a business and individual customers.

“Responsible is the keyword,” Sharma said. “The consortium encourages the growth and success of e-commerce in a way that is taking care of the consumer’s privacy concerns.”

Hansen noted that the consortium membership is divided into two levels: executive and associate. He explained that executive members pay a higher yearly membership fee, but have the opportunity to run for the board of directors and are able to vote on policies. Associate members are able to participate in all activities of the consortium, but cannot run for the board or vote. Hansen added that the consortium presently has approximately 60 members from various companies around the world.

“We have six working committees that explore different areas of personalization,” Hansen said. “We are launching a computer-based training course to help educate both the public and the industry on ethical uses of personalization and how they can benefit from it.”

Sharma said Derivion will participate with the consortium to address the concerns of consumers and said that there are plans to set privacy and personalization standards for businesses.

Derivion is on the ‘net at For more information visit w