Fast forward two years. Through the magic of Google, my blog post on StickK is now the fourth hit on any search for “Stickk.” And even though there’s a comment at the end from StickK noting that it had changed its policies post facto, the company wanted to add a disclaimer to the top of the piece.
So Computerworld added a disclaimer. No big.
He went on for a bit after that, but that’s the simplest, clearest explanation he provided to any of my questions.
Privacy policies like this are fine, if you happen to have a lawyer in your pocket at all times -- and then maybe another lawyer to translate what the first lawyer said.
Otherwise they’re not so fine. They’re effectively useless. 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?
UPDATE: After I first posted this, StickK's general counsel sent me an official response. Here it is: