IAPP-GDPR Web Banners-300x250-FINAL

By: Microsoft

"Microsoft has been a leader and active participant in the 'layered' privacy notice initiative, with MSN being one of the first sites to adopt this approach. We believe that the layered privacy notice represents a significant step forward in the area of privacy disclosures and will make it much easier for users to understand a company's privacy practices and to make informed decisions.

"Companies, especially those that operate across multiple jurisdictions, face numerous, overlapping obligations to include a great deal of detail in their privacy statements. These obligations stem from specific regulatory requirements that specify items that must be included; industry standards, including those of privacy seal organizations; and a general desire to avoid accusations of being incomplete or misleading by omission. An unfortunate result of the efforts to meet these obligations and to provide complete and accurate notice is that websites now commonly have privacy statements that are long and difficult to understand.

"The 'layered' privacy notices is designed to bridge the competing pressures between completeness and ease of use. Under this approach, a one-page short privacy notice, designed to be consumer-friendly, with simple language, and an intuitive lay-out, will provide consumers with essential privacy information, to supplement the traditional longer privacy statement. Moreover, a common template for communicating privacy information will allow consumers to compare and understand privacy practices, much as a common lay-out for food labels has helped all consumers make informed decisions about the food we eat.

"The success of the layered notice project requires collaboration among government, business and consumers. A resolution supporting layered notices was adopted at the 2003 Sydney International Data Commissioners' Conference. And in June 2004, the European Article 29 Working Party adopted a statement that it 'welcomes the efforts to develop a standard for comprehensible data protection information [and] encourage[s] the institutions and companies involved to continue their tasks.' Microsoft and our industry partners will continue to work with governments as we move forward with this exciting initiative.

"The layered privacy notice initiative is also based on consumer research. The Center for Information Policy Research gathered existing research and conducted additional consumer focus groups in the U.S. in 2002-03, which helped establish the form and content of the common template. In the summer of 2004, MSN conducted additional consumer research in Germany and Hong Kong, to test MSN's proposed local-language short privacy notices. Not surprisingly, the research has clearly shown that U.S., German, and Hong Kong consumers all prefer the simple language and transparent lay-out of layered notices to the complexity of long privacy statements.

"Of course, there are issues that still need to be resolved, in the course of an on-going dialogue among government, business and consumers - in particular how to agree on a common worldwide template, given the divergences of some aspects of privacy laws from country to country.  We believe those issues are best-resolved when dialogue is supplemented by experience in the marketplace.

"Microsoft is proud to be in the leadership in launching layered notices, as we look forward to collaborating further with government and business partners in this initiative. In the long run, we believe that consumer trust in the Internet itself will be heightened, as consumers are presented with more comprehensible privacy information."


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Advertise in IAPP Publications

Find out how to get your message in front the people you want to reach. Download a media kit now.

Get more News »

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Network and talk privacy at IAPP KnowledgeNet meetings, taking place worldwide.

Women Leading Privacy

Events, volunteer opportunities and more designed to help you give and get career support and expand your network.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

New Web Conferences Added!

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Staff

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Get Close-up

Looking for tools and info on a hot topic? Our close-up pages organize it for you in one easy-to-find place.

Where's Your DPA?

Our interactive DPA locator helps you find data protection authorities and summary of law by country.

IAPP Westin Research Center

See the latest original research from the IAPP Westin fellows.

Looking for Certification Study Resources?

Find out what you need to prepare for your exams

More Resources »

GDPR Comprehensive: Registration Open

New! Intensive two-day GDPR training led by the sharpest minds in the field. It's a can't-miss event.

The Congress Is Cancelled

The IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2015 is cancelled. Click through to learn more.

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

Exhibit at an Event

Put your brand in front of the largest gatherings of privacy pros in the world. Learn more.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»