Beware the Fine Print: NYTimes investigations into arbitration clauses

The New York Times has begun a series of investigative pieces and media clips on the dangers of what is buried in legal fine print in business-to-consumer contracts. There is one on the prevalence of arbitration clauses and the effects they have on people’s constitutional rights to jury trials, and ability to hold corporations accountable. … Read moreBeware the Fine Print: NYTimes investigations into arbitration clauses

Music video airline disclosure, safety dance on Virgin

This was Virgin Airline’s mandated disclosure, as done as a music video, that I saw on a recent flight to LA. And Behind the Scenes of the video: — From a write-up of the video on marketing blog Digital Synopsis: When was the last time you paid attention to a pre-flight safety demonstration? In the … Read moreMusic video airline disclosure, safety dance on Virgin

Privacyville: Privacy Policy as game for Zynga

Zynga has a game-based privacy policy, PrivacyVille, in which each of the practices is located on a different part of their game town image. You have to click each part of the game to get the different practices. Then, at the end, they give you the chance to play a quiz to confirm you understood.

Aza Raskin’s privacy redesign project

The designer Aza Raskin tackled the design of privacy notifications & policies several years ago. His blog details his (and his co-designers’ and experts’) process to try to make more readable & targeted disclosures that would be meaningful to people. 1.) Making Privacy Policies Not Suck Privacy policies are long legalese documents that obfuscate meaning. … Read moreAza Raskin’s privacy redesign project

Codepen’s Privacy Policy

Codepen has a new privacy policy model, in which it lays out all the terms in a two-column table. On the left hand side is the legalese, and then on the right is the plain English. It’s still all text, but uses hierarchy (categories with bold headers), clean composition (tables with clear demarcations & lots … Read moreCodepen’s Privacy Policy

Core principles for good visualizations

How do you know if you have made an effective visual? What are guiding principles to help you do it better? At the most simple level use these three points:  have a clear message that matters to your audience use simple visuals to illustrate this message, in combination with discrete amounts of text have only … Read moreCore principles for good visualizations

Some ideas for making Privacy Policies More Simple and User-Friendly

Allen Brandt has an article, On Making Privacy Policies More Simple and User-Friendly, in the IAPP blog on Privacy Perspectives. Here is a sample of this very interesting piece from December 10, 2013. David Vladeck, while he was heading up the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, frequently railed against the current generation of consumer-facing privacy … Read moreSome ideas for making Privacy Policies More Simple and User-Friendly

PrivacyFix: Online Privacy Dashboard for social networks

PrivacyFix is a browser add-on that gives users a single dashboard to see their privacy issues on different social and professional networks, and supplies them action items to help them better control their privacy. AVG PrivacyFix™ is your online privacy dashboard. It’s a family of apps that put the control of your online data where … Read morePrivacyFix: Online Privacy Dashboard for social networks

Know Privacy

From the Berkeley Know Privacy project, a set of icons to summarize privacy details: To analyze the privacy policies, we created a set of coding tags, or facets. Policies were evaluated for Types of Data Collected, General Data Collection Practices, and Data Sharing Practices. Each policy received an evaluative code of YES, NO, or UNCLEAR … Read moreKnow Privacy

Privicons project

The Background of the Privicons Project gives a wonderfully resourced summary of their privacy design project. The Project’s Development Recently there have been numerous approaches for simplifying privacy policies by the use of icons. Similar to the Creative Commons project for managing content licenses, some scholars and technologists have suggested privacy policies could be enhanced … Read morePrivicons project

Designing Consumer-Friendly Disclosures for financial decision-making

The Federal Reserve Bulletin published a piece in 2013, summing up new ways to design better consumer understanding & decision-making tools. The article is by Jeanne M. Hogarth and Ellen A. Merry of the Board’s Division of Consumer & Community Affairs. Read the entire article here. The Federal Reserve Board has studied ways to improve … Read moreDesigning Consumer-Friendly Disclosures for financial decision-making

Legal Design Jam takes on Twitter’s privacy policy @ KU Leuven: Report |

LDJ on privacy @ KU Leuven: Report Posted on November 27, 2014 by Stefania Passera In this Jam we brought together designers and legal researchers interested in privacy to reimagine together how privacy policies can be redesigned to be more user-friendly, transparent – and to be actually read by internet users! In our Jam, we … Read moreLegal Design Jam takes on Twitter’s privacy policy @ KU Leuven: Report |

Tumblr makes its TOS funny, inspired, bizarre

Business Insider has a piece by Caroline Moss, from January 2014, in which it profiles Tumblr’s TOS — that are funny, full of easter egg surprises, and with a strong character. I’ll admit, I hardly ever read the Terms of Service for anything. At best, I’ll skim it over. Mostly, I just scroll to the … Read moreTumblr makes its TOS funny, inspired, bizarre

Smarter Information, Smarter Consumers from HBR

via Smarter Information, Smarter Consumers – HBR. As policy makers turn their attention to the private sector, they’re using a similar approach to disclosure—with, if anything, even bigger implications. Ironically, the potential gains to businesses and consumers will come about in part because of the increasing difficulty in making wise decisions about ever-more-complicated products and … Read moreSmarter Information, Smarter Consumers from HBR

Terms of Service: Didn’t Read? Might Not Be a Problem If It’s Browsewrap

Terms of Service: Didn’t Read? Might Not Be a Problem If It’s Browsewrap | Berkeley Technology Law Journal. As websites today develop increasingly complex relationships with visitors, the contracts that define those relationships have become more difficult for companies to impose as binding. Recent litigation surrounding “Terms of Service” (ToS) agreements has put pressure on … Read moreTerms of Service: Didn’t Read? Might Not Be a Problem If It’s Browsewrap

AVG’s Short Privacy Notice

The online security company AVG announced it would be trying out a more mobile-friendly & visually designed privacy notice on its products. via AVG makes privacy crystal clear with Short Privacy Notice. Here is the interface it rolled out, in an effort to better communicate to users what info it was collecting on an app. … Read moreAVG’s Short Privacy Notice

Data Privacy ‘Nutrition Labels’ for Web Users Slow to Catch On

In eWeek, Robert Lemos wrote an article in September 2014, on Data Privacy 'Nutrition Labels' for Web Users Slow to Catch On. The article profiles how difficult privacy notice efforts have it when trying to attract users or sustain momentum. Short-form data privacy notification initiatives for Website visitors have garnered more support in recent months, … Read moreData Privacy ‘Nutrition Labels’ for Web Users Slow to Catch On

A Nutrition Label for Privacy

A Nutrition Label for Privacy is an academic study by Patrick Kelley, Joanna Bresee, Lorrie Cranor and Robert W. Reeder, from CMU & Microsoft. It profiles a potential way to display legal information to consumers: with a ‘nutrition label’ interface. See more about the Nutrition Label project here. The abstract: We used an iterative design … Read moreA Nutrition Label for Privacy

Bank Privacy site

The Bank Privacy site collects together financial institutions’ privacy notices and allows the user to search & compare them. What: Traditionally, companies have provided privacy notices to consumers in freeform “legalese” that make these notices difficult for average consumers to understand. Furthermore, it is difficult or impossible to use these unstructured privacy notices to compare … Read moreBank Privacy site

ThinkData scenario-based legal info

ThinkData is a Data Protection and Transparency Awareness Service that presents legal information in a conversational format. It displays questions around certain scenarios, that the user can click. Beyond the click, the site presents the user with a walkthrough of a scenario with legal information flagged to them.

TOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker

TOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker is a joint project from the EFF & ToS;DR (Terms of Service, Didn’t Read) to keep track of when companies change their privacy policies. It documents when a company or site changes its Terms of Service or other policies, and lets the user see the changes on GitHub to track … Read moreTOSBack | The Terms-Of-Service Tracker

Privacy Illustrated drawings

A team from the CUPS made  Privacy Illustrated, a project having kids illustrate privacy for adult consumption: We began the Privacy Illustrated project in December 2014 when we visited three Pittsburgh-area schools, passed out lots of markers, and asked the kids to draw pictures of privacy. The results are fascinating and the kids are adorable. … Read morePrivacy Illustrated drawings

Usable Privacy Policy Project

The Usable Privacy Policy Project is experimenting with how to make privacy more comprehensible, visual & engaging. Natural language privacy policies have become a de facto standard to address expectations of “notice and choice” on the Web. Yet, there is ample evidence that users generally do not read these policies and that those who occasionally … Read moreUsable Privacy Policy Project

A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed

Here is a piece on notice design, A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed | from Wired Magazine. It’s by Liz Stinson, from 07.15.14 Your car gets towed, and who do you blame? Yourself? God no, you blame that impossibly confusing parking sign. It’s a fair accusation, really. Of all the questionable … Read moreA Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed