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UA: layered notices focus group summary

From: Lorrie Cranor <lorrie@research.att.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2003 15:04:18 -0400
To: public-p3p-spec@w3.org
Message-Id: <029EB256-952D-11D7-93B7-000393DC889A@research.att.com>

Mel Peterson from P&G prepared this summary of the focus groups the 
layered/highlights notices effort did last year. Some of their findings 
are relevant to our translation effort -- most notably, people don't 
like the word "data."

Lorrie



Layered Notices Focus Groups
February 2002

Summary of Results

Notices
• All three groups like the idea of short notices, and disliked the 
notices they received as a result of GLB.
• In general, long notices are generally ignored or pitched.  They 
reduce trust because people assume companies are trying to hide 
important information that they don’t want the consumer to find.
• ‘Uses’, especially information sharing practices, was the most 
important information.  People wanted to know if their information 
would be sold or shared in a way that lead to them getting a lot of 
other marketing they do not want.
• Other categories on the short notice were less important than ‘uses’, 
but all were still important.  The six categories used by templates we 
tested seemed to cover all information people were most interested in.  
We did not identify additional categories that need to be added.
• All three groups strongly prefer that short notices share the same 
template across all industries.
• Some participants indicated use of short notices would facilitate 
comparing information practices between companies.
• At this stage people need more explanation / sentences in a template. 
  A shorter check-list template was not clear enough, but participants 
indicated that down the road they might be able to use a shorter 
check-list template once they have been educated.

Categories & Words
• Participants expected that the words used within the boxes may be 
different, since they believe companies have differences in how they 
collect and use information.  But to the extent consistent wording can 
be used, that will make the notices even easier to use and understand.
• Legal words arouse suspicion and mistrust.  “When I read legal words 
I think you’re trying to trick me, to deceive me.”  For example, 
‘policy’ sounds legal, ‘statement’ is better.
• Phrases like ‘we respect your privacy’ and ‘privacy promise’ led to 
derision – “I bet Enron had a great privacy policy”.
• The word ‘data’ is not consumer friendly.  “Data is what my child 
graphs in school.”  ‘Personal Information’ was better than ‘data’.
• There was not a strong consensus among the three groups for the 
‘choice’ box.  ‘Options’, ‘Choice’, ‘Preferences’ were all considered 
by participants, the groups differed on which they thought was best.
• ‘Scope’ was not a meaningful descriptor of the box telling people 
about the company whose practices are described in the notice.
• ‘Other Information’ does not work.  It sound like ‘unimportant 
details’ and will be ignored.  “Important information’ is better.
• A few people expressed appreciation for data access when it was 
included in the template (in the “Other Information” box) but no one 
suggested it needed to have its own category.
• One focus group talked a lot about third parties they could go to for 
accountability.  “UL approved” was attractive, but recognition of seal 
programs was limited.
• People had trouble with one-word descriptions of categories on the 
template, but once the category was explained to them the word used to 
describe the category becomes less important.

Template
• Presenting the information in a template, with boxes to organize the 
information, is better than presenting the information in text form.
• Keeping the same template for all companies/organizations is highly 
desirable.  It makes it easier for people to find the information they 
are looking for, and to compare practices when they want to.
• ‘Contact Information’ should be located in the lower right hand 
corner or at the end of the template.
• People would like to have ‘how-to’ information along with any choices 
they have, e.g. “to be removed from this program call 1-800-765-4321”.

Other
• Most people do not understand how data is used.  They have no clue 
how information creates value for them.  Some people have a limited 
understanding of targeting.  Data modeling is not understood.  Short 
notices for marketing are likely to generate “I never knew that was 
going on” responses.
• Most participants like and use catalogs, but would cancel some of the 
volume they currently get.  Volume of solicitations was the issue.
Received on Monday, 2 June 2003 15:02:44 EDT

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