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Request for Comments: CommonTerms

From: Pär Lannerö <par.lannero@metamatrix.se>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 09:43:26 +0200
Message-ID: <0AC4BD9F7302E94C906D06840EA827F30219FDE8@mmxsrv02.mmx.metamatrix.se>
To: <public-privacy@w3.org>
Dear web privacy experts,


Though we are not focusing solely on privacy, the CommonTerms project would kindly like to ask for your feedback on our alpha proposal [1] for a framework for previewing Terms & Conditions on websites. 


Our proposal is a reaction to the fact that almost nobody reads Terms of Services, Privacy Policies and similar documents, but most accept them anyway. This is a usability issue with negative implications for privacy, security, consumer protection and many other[2] aspects of online life.


Instead of blindly accepting the terms, we think that users should be able to get a preview of the most important aspects. It should be possible to determine, at a glance, if the terms are generally in line with the user's expectations/preferences. The preview format should be standardized and recognizable, in order to make it easy for users to interpret. It cannot replace, but should complement the full agreement.


We - a group of usability people, lawyers and web developers - are working on a beta version due for real life testing this summer, and we're considering different options for standardization.


CommonTerms has been much inspired by Mozilla Privacy Icons [3], Carnegie Mellon Privacy Labels [4], of course Creative Commons [5], and many others [6]. The project is sponsored by the Internet Infrastructure Foundation [7].


[1] http://www.commonterms.net/Solution.aspx

[2] http://www.commonterms.net/Problem.aspx

[3] http://www.azarask.in/blog/post/privacy-icons/ 

[4] http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/privacyLabel/

[5] http://creativecommons.org/ 

[6] http://www.commonterms.net/Related.aspx

[7] https://www.iis.se/en/om-se 



Pär Lannerö

M: +46 739-44 20 43

Sveavägen 31, 3 tr SE-111 34 Stockholm


Received on Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:42:24 UTC

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