BE TRANSPARENT

Give users the ability to make informed choices.

The first step in establishing and maintaining a trust-based relationship with your users is giving them the information they need to make informed decisions. Doing so not only helps prevent surprises that can lead to backlash, it can also build loyalty among your current users and help you recruit new ones.

NOTIFY USERS WHENEVER MONITORING IS ACTIVE.
Users should be aware when a device or product is collecting information or when a microphone, camera, or other sensor is turned on. If your product is capable of collecting and transmitting user information surreptitiously, the discovery of those practices can severely erode user trust.
Case Study

Verizon’s “Supercookie" a “Privacy-Killing Machine”

Verizon faced the wrath of consumers, privacy advocates, and the United States Senate for using “superco

Verizon faced the wrath of consumers, privacy advocates, and the United States Senate for using “supercookies” to track the Internet activity of more than 100 million customers without their knowledge or consent. Described as “privacy-killing machines,” supercookies allowed Verizon to monitor customers wherever they went on the Internet, even if they had taken steps to browse anonymously. After months of intense criticism, Verizon finally relented and allowed customers to opt out of the tracking.

74% of people are concerned about companies monitoring their online activities and selling that information without their explicit consent (2014).

MAKE USERS AWARE WHEN YOU COLLECT DATA IN UNEXPECTED WAYS.
Today’s market of sensor-rich and interconnected devices includes everything from thermostats to cars and is commonly referred to as the “Internet of Things.” Many of these devices are able to inconspicuously collect sensitive data about private life, making clear and creative privacy explanations all the more important. Companies that fail to explain how these devices collect and use data may find themselves in hot water.
Case Study

Samsung’s “Orwellian” Privacy Policy Invites Allegations of "Smart TV" Spying

Samsung faced an FTC complaint as well as a congressional inquiry after reports questioned whether its voice-activated Smart TVs might be eavesdropping on users.

Samsung faced an FTC complaint as well as a congressional inquiry after reports questioned whether its voice-activated Smart TVs might be eavesdropping on users. Users and the press were outraged after noticing that Samsung’s “Orwellian” privacy policy suggested that its Smart TVs were recording conversations and transmitting that data unencrypted to third parties. In response to the uproar, which included days of negative press coverage and triggered a U.S. senator’s inquiry, Samsung updated its privacy policy, but many found the vague modifications insufficient to assuage fears and rebuild consumer trust.

Case Study

Shady Flashlight App Keeps Millions of Users in the Dark

Goldenshores Technologies, makers of the “Brightest Flashlight Free” Android app, faced legal action from the FTC for deceiving users about it

Goldenshores Technologies, makers of the “Brightest Flashlight Free” Android app, faced legal action from the FTC for deceiving users about its data sharing practices. The app failed to disclose in its privacy policy that it was transmitting precise location information and unique device identifiers to advertisers and other third parties. What’s worse, the app made a pretense of allowing users to opt out of sharing but then proceeded to share their information anyway. Goldenshores was lambasted in the press and the FTC eventually ordered the app-maker to clarify its practices for users and delete all user information in its possession.

Share This: