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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hard to understand privacy statements turn off customers 

This probably comes as a surprise to many, but a large portion of internet users actually read online privacy policies. I'll say that again: some people actually read online privacy policies. Or, more accurately, try to read online privacy policies.

Hold onto your chairs, now: people actually make buying decisions based on what they read in the policy.

The world is changing. A growing group of customers ... perhaps your customers ... care about privacy and want the companies they deal with to come clean with comprehensible privacy policies.

I still see too many companies that have privacy policies that are screensful of small print with the "good stuff" that people are interested in buried at the bottom. E-commerce sites probably pay significant sums of money to make their services accessible to Mac and FireFox users because they don't want to alienate potential customers. You should do the same with your privacy statements. Do your company a favour: ask both your grandmother and your seven year old nephew to read your site's privacy statement. If either or both do not fully understand what the statement really means, re-write it and try again. Repeat as necessary.

Harris Interactive did a survey for Privacy & American Business, which backs this up: Vague online privacy policies are harming e-commerce, new survey reports.


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