An expectation exists, particularly in the U.S.A., that B2C web-site operators will provide public notice of their practices in relation to the personal data that they hold. Such documents are referred to in this paper as 'privacy policy statements' (PPS). Privacy is an important element in consumer trust, and hence in a consumer's decision to make purchases using Internet commerce services. PPS could therefore be expected to play an important role in overcoming the impediments to consumer purchases online.

This paper adds to the growing research literature on PPS by developing a research design involving comparison of an organisation's PPS against a normative template. A pilot study of six B2C sites was undertaken, in order to assess the practicability of the design, and provide some initial substantive insight into the contributions that PPS currently make to consumer trust.