Making Online Privacy Make Sense by Ilana Westerman

UX Magazine has a piece by Ilana Westerman, Making Online Privacy Make Sense, that discusses how a better privacy design can build a bond between an organization and a person.

Westerman highlights that legal terms around privacy are intangible, hard to grasp, and are often not valued until they are violated or lost. People don’t engage with legal communications in ways that let them truly internalize what they are agreeing to. It is emotions driving their perception of the terms, rather than the policy itself.

Westerman suggests some opportunities for better legal communication design:

Treating privacy properly can turn it into a positive rather than a negative. When people entrust a website or mobile app with their data, they can build trust in the service. When this trust is respected by the service, the resulting bond can become stronger than purely financial or logistical considerations.

“I’ll pay $10 more on Amazon instead of the other site because I know Amazon will do the right thing if I have to return it.”

“I know that my insurance agent won’t let them mismanage my online data”

This can result in a transformation of privacy concerns into the foundation for confidence and trust. By properly handling privacy, companies can create a more positive dialog with the user, which can create engagement, build brand equity, foster an emotional connection, and establish deep-seated trust in the service.

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