NEW YORK - Award-winning actor and Verizon spokesman James Earl Jones is lending his powerful voice to a public service campaign designed to educate consumers about protecting their privacy online.
Jones, one of the nation's most recognized voices and actors, has taped 30- and 60-second public service announcements (PSA) for use by radio stations throughout the country. The PSAs tell consumers how to protect their privacy when they surf the Internet. The script of the 60-second PSA follows this release.
The announcements are part of an ongoing consumer education campaign by TRUSTe, a leading privacy advocate, and a select group of Internet and telecommunications companies that have formed the TRUSTe Privacy Partnership. Last summer, the Privacy Partnership launched a multimedia campaign to educate consumers on how they can control their personal information online.
"By adding the respected voice of James Earl Jones to this important campaign, Verizon is continuing its leadership in protecting consumers' privacy," said Shelley Harms, Verizon's executive director for privacy. "Privacy has emerged as one of the most critical issues facing consumers today, and we are committed to educating consumers about what to look for when they visit a Web site.
"This is a first for us at Verizon, but we feel that James Earl Jones' participation in this campaign underscores the importance of privacy education for all consumers who use the Internet," said Jan Keeler, Verizon senior vice president for Brand Management and Marketing Communications.
"As we enter into an increasingly connected world, our primary goal should be to provide meaningful privacy education for everyone," said Bob Lewin, president and CEO of TRUSTe. "We are extremely grateful to James Earl Jones and Verizon Communications for making it possible to bring awareness of this important issue to new audiences."
Beginning, immediately, Verizon and TRUSTe will distribute the PSAs to radio stations around the country. Stations can also download the announcements by visting TRUSTe's Web site at "http://www.truste.org/partners/psa.html">www.truste.org.
TRUSTe is the leading privacy seal organization in the United States, dedicated to building consumer trust and confidence in the Internet. When TRUSTe's seal appears on a Web site, it certifies that the site has met rigorous TRUSTe criteria for protecting consumers' privacy.
In addition to Verizon, members of the Privacy Partnership include AltaVista, America Online, BrightStreet, Excite@Home, IBM, Intel, Lycos, Microsoft, Persona, RealNetworks, and Yahoo!
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.
ANNOUNCER: James Earl Jones
"Are you worried about your privacy on the Internet? When you shop online, you can safeguard your personal information with a few easy steps: First, always look for and read a Web site privacy statement. Stay clear of any Web site that does not post one. Second, look for a seal of approval, such as the TRUSTe Privacy Seal. This seal on a Web site means that you have full control over your personal information. It also means that you can turn to TRUSTe for help when a site breaks its privacy promises. Whether surfing the Web for gifts or letting your kids do research online, everyone has a right to control the uses of their personal information. By knowing how to protect your privacy online, you can help build a Web you can believe in."