Privacy Policy Perspectives

February 25, 2010
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Whenever a site asks me to read their privacy policy before entering my info, my immediate reaction is to just skip it, dismiss it as a waste of time. I also get the feeling that they don’t really want me to read it anyway. I know I am not alone in my thinking as Dennis Dayman, contributing to Deliverability.com, addresses this issue among others in his recent blog, “What Marketers Might Expect in 2010”. So why would I do this? Why would I give out my information without understanding who has the right to see and use it? A number of reasons:

1. Privacy policies are never written for consumers to understand. You almost have to be a lawyer to decipher all the phraseology and then apply it to yourself.

2. They are long. I feel like I have better things to do. I just want to get to the part where I’m looking at what I’d wanted in the first place.

3. They tend to be disorganized. It takes my valuable time to scan through and find the specific part of the policy I’m looking for.

4. They aren’t always current…

Whenever a site asks me to read their privacy policy before entering my info, my immediate reaction is to just skip it, dismiss it as a waste of time. I also get the feeling that they don’t really want me to read it anyway. I know I am not alone in my thinking as Dennis Dayman, contributing to Deliverability.com, addresses this issue among others in his recent blog, “What Marketers Might Expect in 2010”. So why would I do this? Why would I give out my information without understanding who has the right to see and use it? A number of reasons:

1. Privacy policies are never written for consumers to understand. You almost have to be a lawyer to decipher all the phraseology and then apply it to yourself.

2. They are long. I feel like I have better things to do. I just want to get to the part where I’m looking at what I’d wanted in the first place.

3. They tend to be disorganized. It takes my valuable time to scan through and find the specific part of the policy I’m looking for.

4. They aren’t always current. Some privacy policies aren’t updated along with the new changes. This is misleading and dishonest. This causes consumers to immediately lose trust in the company.

5. Along with not always being updated, when they ARE updated, I am usually made aware of the changes after they have been made. Am I really expected to agree to something that I’ve never even seen? It shouldn’t be assumed that I’ll agree with the changes. Nothing should be assumed concerning consumers.

6. If I have a question about something I don’t understand, it can be difficult to find contact info directing me to the right person who can give me the answers.

7. It’s usually little more than a small link to click on, or fine print at the bottom of the page. I shouldn’t have to look for it. It should be displayed proudly so as to win my confidence in the company.

“…the more data that you need to perform your job of catering your marketing plan to them (the consumers), the more you will have to tell them about how you are going to safeguard and effectively use their information”. Privacy policies are a chance to explain, in no uncertain terms, how consumers’ information will be kept private, and what will be done with this information once received. Trust, loyalty, relevance…these are the words that should be associated with privacy policies.

Privacy policies should be incentives. They are opportunities.

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