The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

MSN implements shortened, layered privacy notices on its sites 

According to CNet News, Microsoft has just moved to a shortened privacy statement on all the MSN sites. These provide a high-level overview of the information collected from a specific site and allow you to click for more detail. The window below contains the general MSN Summary Privacy Statement:

MSN sites get easy-to-read privacy label | CNET

"... A standard notice contains six sections covering the scope, information collected, use of the information, consumer choices and company contact information. It also includes a section for important notices to the consumer.

While their appearance is much simpler, the notices are difficult to write in plain language, McDade said.

'It was a very hard challenge to summarize (our practices) into a short snapshot and to write it in such a way that people thought it was a fair representation,' she said.

Microsoft has not yet implemented the shorter form on its main Web site. "

I usually recommend that my clients use privacy notices that are as reader-friendly as possible. One of the key elements is to make sure the reader does not have to wade through a bunch of stuff to get their questions answered. Once you figure out what most customers who read the notices want to know, put it in a summary at the beginning or somehow highlight those sections in the text. Customers read privacy notices because they are suspicious or have a question. You want to answer the question and alleviate their suspicions. Notices like those implemented by MSN look like they'll do a good job at communicating their policies and practices.


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