PLI: Consumers Want Easy-to-Read Privacy Notices

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The Privacy Leadership Initiative said yesterday that recent studies show that while most Americans think privacy notices are important, they find the notices too long and complicated.

The announcement was based on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by PLI, a coalition of businesses and affiliated organizations geared to help consumers control how their personal information is used on- and offline. It closely tracked the Culnan-Milne Survey on Consumers & Online Privacy Notices, which was released yesterday and also identified consumer interest in shorter privacy notices, the PLI said.

The Harris survey's key findings were:

· 77 percent of respondents favored a short, concise privacy policy

· 70 percent agreed that companies "should use the same summary or checklist for privacy policies"

· 3 percent reviewed online privacy notices carefully most of the time while 64 percent did not read notices at all or only glanced at them

· 12 percent reported reviewing financial notices carefully

· The top reasons cited for not reading privacy policies more carefully were a lack of time/interest and a high level of difficulty understanding the notices.

"That consumers care deeply about privacy matters is a given," said David Klaus, PLI's executive director. "What is new here is that for the first time we have a survey which quantified growing consumer frustration as they wade through lengthy privacy notices."


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