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Can your Privacy Policy be Read by a 5th Grader?

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Zero. The number of people who have ever read word for word—and understood—a website’s privacy policy.

Well, maybe not zero, but the actual number is pretty close to it. And this excludes the lawyers who compose these thick walls of tiny text that are filled with legalese.

How many people even open the link to the privacy policy? After all, it’s almost always at the bottom of the site page, called “Privacy Policy,” in a font that doesn’t even stand out.

It’s time that the privacy policy (aka transparency statement) be short, sweet and simple, with an attractive graphic to catch the visitor’s attention. The purpose of a privacy policy seems to be to inform the website visitor/user just how that person’s data will be used by the business or enterprise that the site is for.

But more accurately, the purpose is for the statement to protect the business in the event of a dispute.

Why don’t businesses introduce a short, in-plain-English statement with the sole purpose of explaining privacy and data protocols; right to the point, no legalese filler fluff? And easy to access while they’re at it. The larger, complicated privacy policy could back up the short, simple transparency statement. Over time, the way the big, and the little, statements work in tandem could be refined.

With this upgrade in the “privacy policy,” visitors to sites will be able to make better choices and have a firmer grip on how the site manages their data.

Just think how much smoother things would be if every website had a link titled “Transparency Statement” that took you to a one-page document with a friendly font size and no legalese. Better yet, why not call the “transparency statement” something like, “How we handle your private information.”

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.

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