Standardizing Privacy Notices: An Online Study of the Nutrition Label Approach

This paper from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab by Patrick Gage Kelley, Lucian Cesca, Joanna Bresee and Lorrie Faith Cranor compares this standardized format and two short variants (one tabular, one text) with the current status quo of privacy notices: full text natural language policies and layered policies. The researchers conducted an online user study of 789 participants to test if these three more intentionally designed, standardized privacy policy formats, assisted by consumer education, can benefit consumers. Our results show that providing standardized privacy policy presentations can have significant positive effects on accuracy of information finding, overall speed and reader enjoyment with privacy policies. (Revised January 12, 2010).