Privacy notices as “Nutrition” Label

Reading privacy notices on online sites is a difficult task. Currently, they are displayed in lengthy textual pages with legal mambo-jumbo. How many brave people try to complete this unpleasant reading? I suppose that excepted privacy lawyers, quiet nobody.

As a consequence, people give up their privacy and accept the privacy rules without knowing what they are.

Under the lead of Cranor Lorrie, a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon propose in a paper to be presented at CHI10 an interesting approach: Let’s display the privacy policy in a way similar to nutrition labels.

We are now all familiar with nutrition labels that allow you to have a look at carbs, proteins… (at least if you are concerned about your figure and/or health  :Happy:  ). They propose a table which rows indicate the potentially collected data whereas each column defines the potential use. The cell has five color codes: Will use, opt in, opt out, will likely not use, will not use.

They compared different forms of policy displays. Guess what? The standardized privacy label won.

This proposal is clearly a progress. Now, a more worrying question: how many people would choose their social network depending on the privacy policy? How many people would not join the latest buzz hot need-to-be social network due to privacy issues? I’m afraid not so many.  :Sad:

Nevertheless, people would have at least the possibility to choose. This would be better than the current situation.

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