Mozilla designer proposes website privacy icons

By Jos · 11 replies
Dec 28, 2010
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  1. Mozilla is working on a simple a straightforward set of icons that websites can use to make their often complicated privacy policies more transparent to users. The idea is to have a visual representation of how your personal data is being handled, with icons indicating whether it is shared with advertisers or sold to third parties, for how long collected information is stored, how easy it is for law enforcement to obtain visitor records and so on.

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  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    This is a great idea, but I think the reality of it is suspect. No web site is going to want the "we sell your information" icon on their website. They'll find some way to either block it or fraudulently put up the "we don't sell your info" icon instead.
  3. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Is there going to be an icon with a stylized burglar mask and a dollar sign "Your data may be stolen"?
  4. So which information stealing/selling icon does Facebook get? :)
  5. Totally useless and may give a false sense of security.
  6. @Guest1: A stylized person with a dollar sign for a head. Or something less scrupulous like two people, a back alley, and a jar of lube.

    On a more constructive note, how would this exactly work? From what I understand, you'd really need something akin to a CA like VeriSign to give icons some credence, or a system like Web of Trust for a more democratic flavor. And then there's the judging process, since everyone and anyone is a lawyer on the Internet and can finagle with words as strictly and as loosely as they want in regards to what constitutes data retention, necessary information sharing to advertisers, and whatnot.

    Most of the big sites would ostensibly qualify for red icons, anyway, but that won't stop people from using those sites on a daily basis. At which point people would stop caring if *any* site has a red icon or not.

    In this end, this is all just a bunch of icons.
  7. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    Agree, it would be rather naïve to believe that sites out to steal your information are going to voluntarily post bad guy icons.
  8. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    The yellow nuclear sign icon?...A mushroom cloud icon?..Or maybe an icon with a big red cross through it?

    With the line "Your data matters to Facebook" (in the sense that we want everybody else know what that data is).
  9. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 843   +38

    I think Mozilla's heart is in the right place, and I applaud them, but I just don't see this working out. Too many issues to run into with it. Nice try, though, guys.
  10. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 232

    /off/ Facebook - what about a white skull with crossed bones on black background? /.off/

    im with matrix86 and the other guys
    nice try but useless
  11. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    "DOH" I just got on "the books"
    I fell like a "clown" with a big red nose or a target on my backside
  12. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    Never mind. At least you know that there's about 500 million other people in the same boat. Including me :(

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