Sacramento website author says YES to the 100 word privacy policy

Sacramento website author says YES to the 100 word privacy policy

If California AB 242 goes into law, most Sacramento websites will need new privacy policies

Sacramento website author says YES to the 100 word privacy policy

Sacramento website author says YES to the 100 word privacy policy

On February 8, California Assemblyman Ed Chau introduced legislation that would limit websites’ privacy policies to 100 words. This would apply to websites that collect information about California residents. That is a great idea. If I served in the General Assembly, I would vote Yes. The full Bill is at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0201-0250/ab_242_bill_20130206_introduced.html. I am copying part of the verbiage here.

Existing law requires an operator of a commercial Web site or online service that collects personally identifiable information through the Internet, about individual consumers residing in California who use or visit its commercial Web site or online service, to make its privacy policy available to consumers, as specified. This bill would require the privacy policy to be no more than 100 words, be written in clear and concise language, be written at no greater than an 8th grade reading level, and to include a statement indicating whether the personally identifiable information may be sold or shared with others, and if so, how and with whom the information may be shared.

Most of us don’t read them

We visit web sites and scroll through their privacy policies. We don’t pay much attention. Some of us scroll through it because we don’t want to interpret the legalese. Some of us scroll through it because they are too long. We have other things to do. Still others do not care. This Bill will benefit all.

By requiring these policies to be no more than 100 words, this legislation benefits everyone

  1. We will not have to interpret the legalese. Policies will be at an 8th grade reading level. It will be very tough for someone to squeeze in confusing legalese while remaining confined to an 8th grade reading level. The confusing legalese will be gone. Perhaps this was the primary motivator behind this legislation.
  2. It benefits those of us who have other things to do. We may see a short 100 word policy and decide it really is short enough to digest. We will stop to read a 100 word policy. Most articles on my website are more than 300 words.
  3. Even folks who do not care will benefit. They will see a short paragraph or two and take the time to read it. The verbiage will be more eye appealing. They will learn something in the process.

Your privacy policy

If you’re sitting back and saying, “My website does not have a privacy policy,” this may be a polite wake-up call to create one. People will pay more attention to privacy policies. They will notice if you don’t have one. Even if you’re not accepting charge cards, you are probably asking people to subscribe to your blog or newsletters. They are volunteering their personal information.

You should craft a website privacy policy. People will notice. The Sacramento websites I support will have shorter privacy policies.

 

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