Fixing Broken Doors: Strategies for Drafting Privacy Policies Young People Can Understand

Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 30 (2):130-143 (2010)
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Abstract

The goal of this project is to identify guidelines for privacy policies that children and teens can accurately interpret with relative ease. A three-pronged strategy was used to achieve this goal. First, an analysis of the relevant literature on reading was undertaken to identify the document features that affect comprehension. Second, focus groups were conducted to examine their experience and practices in the interpretation of privacy policies found on sites that have been identified as favorite kids’ sites. Based on the results of the literature review and focus groups, a set of potential guidelines were identified. Finally, the efficacy of these guidelines was tested in the final phase of the research project. The result of this work is a set of 14 guidelines for the drafting of privacy policies that make a difference, by improving the comprehensibility of privacy policies encountered by Canadian children and teens as they surf the Net.

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