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Consumers Want Simplified Privacy Policies, But Tech Companies Aren’t Willing to Provide

Derek Shumway

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Photo of Jasmine McNealy from her website

February 15, 2021 – Today, every company and website seem to have a complex and jargon-filled privacy policy that is impossible to understand, let alone read.

While no organization has to make things complicated, they do end up using complex privacy policies as an excuse to do what they do.

Organizations “don’t allow people to understand what or how they are managing personal data,” said Jasmine McNealy, associate professor at the University of Florida and associate director of the Marian B. Buechner First Amendment Project there. She was speaking at a Silicon Flatirons forum on trust and trustworthiness in the technology sector, “The Role of Law and Ethics.

Consumers are trying hard to understand what is happening with their data, but companies are not trying as hard to help them understand their data.

Should consumers be willing to give up rights and privileges to their data in exchange for simplified policies? Apparently not. Responding to this reporter’s question, McNealy argued that “organizations have fallen back on using a whole lot of legalese to express what is happening.” There may be consumer demand for simplified policies, she said, but companies are not willing to provide them.

Enlist the help of mediating institutions may help consumer better understand their data. Indeed, that’s the purpose of watchdogs and oversight groups, said Martin Tisné, managing director at Luminate.

In a tweet after the event, Tisné wrote:

Understanding transparency in company policy and data use goes beyond the actual explaining of a company’s policies. A company’s decision to be transparent doesn’t necessarily translate into the consumer’s best interests if the consumer can’t understand their policies.

Tisné said that organizations will say, “Hey look, we have a privacy policy—but people don’t read them, so what good does that do?“ That is why it is difficult to legally blame companies for their actions.

Even if an organization engages in good practices with handling personal data, it needs to project that trustworthiness to the outside world, added Katie Shilton, associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park. Practicing good data hygiene is something companies, organizations, and even government should always maintain to prevent injustice and harmful consumer practices.

Privacy

Consumer Privacy Must Rise To Priority In Biden Agenda, Experts Urge

FCBA panelists discuss data privacy and consumer protection challenges for the Biden administration.

Tim White

Published

on

Photo of Dona Fraser of Better Business Bureau

February 15, 2021 – Today, every company and website seem to have a complex and jargon-filled privacy policy that is impossible to understand, let alone read.

While no organization has to make things complicated, they do end up using complex privacy policies as an excuse to do what they do.

Organizations “don’t allow people to understand what or how they are managing personal data,” said Jasmine McNealy, associate professor at the University of Florida and associate director of the Marian B. Buechner First Amendment Project there. She was speaking at a Silicon Flatirons forum on trust and trustworthiness in the technology sector, “The Role of Law and Ethics.

Consumers are trying hard to understand what is happening with their data, but companies are not trying as hard to help them understand their data.

Should consumers be willing to give up rights and privileges to their data in exchange for simplified policies? Apparently not. Responding to this reporter’s question, McNealy argued that “organizations have fallen back on using a whole lot of legalese to express what is happening.” There may be consumer demand for simplified policies, she said, but companies are not willing to provide them.

Enlist the help of mediating institutions may help consumer better understand their data. Indeed, that’s the purpose of watchdogs and oversight groups, said Martin Tisné, managing director at Luminate.

In a tweet after the event, Tisné wrote:

Understanding transparency in company policy and data use goes beyond the actual explaining of a company’s policies. A company’s decision to be transparent doesn’t necessarily translate into the consumer’s best interests if the consumer can’t understand their policies.

Tisné said that organizations will say, “Hey look, we have a privacy policy—but people don’t read them, so what good does that do?“ That is why it is difficult to legally blame companies for their actions.

Even if an organization engages in good practices with handling personal data, it needs to project that trustworthiness to the outside world, added Katie Shilton, associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park. Practicing good data hygiene is something companies, organizations, and even government should always maintain to prevent injustice and harmful consumer practices.

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Privacy

National Plan Required For Consumer Privacy, Congresswoman says

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

Screenshot of Suzan DelBene from C-Span

February 15, 2021 – Today, every company and website seem to have a complex and jargon-filled privacy policy that is impossible to understand, let alone read.

While no organization has to make things complicated, they do end up using complex privacy policies as an excuse to do what they do.

Organizations “don’t allow people to understand what or how they are managing personal data,” said Jasmine McNealy, associate professor at the University of Florida and associate director of the Marian B. Buechner First Amendment Project there. She was speaking at a Silicon Flatirons forum on trust and trustworthiness in the technology sector, “The Role of Law and Ethics.

Consumers are trying hard to understand what is happening with their data, but companies are not trying as hard to help them understand their data.

Should consumers be willing to give up rights and privileges to their data in exchange for simplified policies? Apparently not. Responding to this reporter’s question, McNealy argued that “organizations have fallen back on using a whole lot of legalese to express what is happening.” There may be consumer demand for simplified policies, she said, but companies are not willing to provide them.

Enlist the help of mediating institutions may help consumer better understand their data. Indeed, that’s the purpose of watchdogs and oversight groups, said Martin Tisné, managing director at Luminate.

In a tweet after the event, Tisné wrote:

Understanding transparency in company policy and data use goes beyond the actual explaining of a company’s policies. A company’s decision to be transparent doesn’t necessarily translate into the consumer’s best interests if the consumer can’t understand their policies.

Tisné said that organizations will say, “Hey look, we have a privacy policy—but people don’t read them, so what good does that do?“ That is why it is difficult to legally blame companies for their actions.

Even if an organization engages in good practices with handling personal data, it needs to project that trustworthiness to the outside world, added Katie Shilton, associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park. Practicing good data hygiene is something companies, organizations, and even government should always maintain to prevent injustice and harmful consumer practices.

Continue Reading

Privacy

Attach Strings To Data Collection To Combat Surveillance Capitalism, Experts Suggest

Samuel Triginelli

Published

on

Photo of Marietje Schaake from the European Parliament

February 15, 2021 – Today, every company and website seem to have a complex and jargon-filled privacy policy that is impossible to understand, let alone read.

While no organization has to make things complicated, they do end up using complex privacy policies as an excuse to do what they do.

Organizations “don’t allow people to understand what or how they are managing personal data,” said Jasmine McNealy, associate professor at the University of Florida and associate director of the Marian B. Buechner First Amendment Project there. She was speaking at a Silicon Flatirons forum on trust and trustworthiness in the technology sector, “The Role of Law and Ethics.

Consumers are trying hard to understand what is happening with their data, but companies are not trying as hard to help them understand their data.

Should consumers be willing to give up rights and privileges to their data in exchange for simplified policies? Apparently not. Responding to this reporter’s question, McNealy argued that “organizations have fallen back on using a whole lot of legalese to express what is happening.” There may be consumer demand for simplified policies, she said, but companies are not willing to provide them.

Enlist the help of mediating institutions may help consumer better understand their data. Indeed, that’s the purpose of watchdogs and oversight groups, said Martin Tisné, managing director at Luminate.

In a tweet after the event, Tisné wrote:

Understanding transparency in company policy and data use goes beyond the actual explaining of a company’s policies. A company’s decision to be transparent doesn’t necessarily translate into the consumer’s best interests if the consumer can’t understand their policies.

Tisné said that organizations will say, “Hey look, we have a privacy policy—but people don’t read them, so what good does that do?“ That is why it is difficult to legally blame companies for their actions.

Even if an organization engages in good practices with handling personal data, it needs to project that trustworthiness to the outside world, added Katie Shilton, associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park. Practicing good data hygiene is something companies, organizations, and even government should always maintain to prevent injustice and harmful consumer practices.

Continue Reading

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