What if Apple designed the new privacy notices?

November 16, 2010

If Steve Jobs was the Privacy Czar, maybe the new ad notices would look something like this (click to enlarge):

Unlike current approaches in testing, the call to action is right on top. Instead of the choices being another click away, the details are another click away. There’s no room for platitudes about privacy. Less is more.

Only testing can tell you how a more direct approach affects consumer satisfaction and attitudes about brands and privacy. But I would be surprised if consumers liked it less. There’s little doubt that regulators who favor “Do Not Track’ would like it better.

How would advertisers and ad-delivery companies like it? A more direct approach seems likely to lead to more opt-outs. But at the same time, the research so far reveals strong consumer curiosity in profiles and control. Putting choices right on top would also lead to more clicks through to “See and Edit Profile,” which is an engagement opportunity.

The takeaway for folks designing privacy experiences:  It’s always worth asking, “What would Steve do?”

Thanks to Eric at Cosmic Design Group for helping me channel the Apple design aesthetic for this thought exercise.

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4 Responses to “What if Apple designed the new privacy notices?”

  1. Derek Maxson Says:

    If Steve Jobs, the designer, were to be privacy Czar, perhaps he would design something this simple. However, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, obscures behavioral data collection through an opt-out model that is difficult to understand and carry out.

    1. The iAd product is behavioral targeting without sufficient disclosure. When Apple launched iAd, my app usage, purchases and preferences were made available for advertising in advance of any transparent notice.

    2. When iTunes changes its privacy policy, my iPhone asks me if I wish to read 80 pages of legal writing. The standard for disclosure should be clear and understandable.

    Here’s to raising the bar well above many of the current notification and choice mechanisms to true transparency.

  2. Krsyithent Says:

    Great post, will now visit site on a regular basis 😀


  3. […] What if Apple designed the new privacy notices? […]


  4. […] experience has a big impact on brand impression, so hopefully advertisers will push for “a little more Steve Jobs” when it comes to privacy design. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the […]


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