Rethinking how we talk privacy to customers
Ask yourself, when is the last time you really read that terms of service document before you clicked agree. It's the biggest lie on the internet nowadays. And who could blame you, really? Most of these privacy policies and terms of services documents and web pages are dense. Really, really, dense. Most are actually written at the 16th grade level, chock full of legal language, and downright exhausting. Most people on this planet read at the 8th grade level. Should someone try to understand your brand's policies around privacy, your use of their data, or their options, they'd come away feeling marginalized and defeated. Is this really the experience we want for our customers?
Of course, the answer is no. What's really happened over the last few years is that privacy policies have gone from the domain of some language your legal team would craft to protect the business to something more and more consumers are starting to deeply care about. It's time we start to proactively think about how to express what a brand needs to communicate with its customer around privacy in a way that is comprehensible to customers, can build trust, and earn willing participation.
Introducing the Trust and Consent Framework
We've written extensively about the concept of Privacy UX, and the idea of treating privacy as a fundamental part of the customer experience. Part of that experience is how you talk to your customers about your policies. With that in mind, we partnered with Beacon, one of the foremost thought leaders in how to frame a conversation with your customers on their terms, in a language they'll understand. What we've created together is the Trust and Consent Framework that packages up everything customers really want to know about a brand's policies – in an accessible and approachable way. One of the main tenants of our joint approach was to use human factors design best practices to deliver the right amount of information to the customer in digestible ways, using design approaches such as progressive disclosure, and human-centered design to overcome customer concerns and build confidence in customers.
*Source: Gartner, Practical Privacy — A Definitive Guide to Privacy UX, Nader Henein, 20 September 2019 (report available to subscribers).