ITWorld has an opinion column about the problems with privacy policies:
As a concept, privacy isn’t difficult to grok. People should have control over their personal information and how it is used. If they don’t want it used, there should be a simple and permanent way to prevent that from happening. Period, full stop.
If you want people to understand privacy – and maybe not be either so blasé or so paranoid about how their data is being used – we need privacy policies that human beings can understand. […]
So here’s what I propose. Keep the legalese for the lawyers, if you must, but boil it down to the essentials for the rest of us mere mortals.
The first time you visit a site or log into it, the site should display a pop up window with four bullet points listing:
* The personal identifiable information the site gathers. Name and address? Credit card? IP and location? A simple list would suffice.
* What the site does with your PII. Will third parties have access to your data? Will advertisers?
* The ability to opt out on the spot. Don’t like what the site is doing with your info? Click this link to remove your data or limit sharing.
* Want to dig into the minutiae? Here’s a link to the longer legalese.
Simple, easy, effective, and no migraines. Is that really so difficult? I don’t think so. What do you think?