TRUSTe is preparing to release our Privacy Manager for Firefox, a consumer browser client that provides transparency around the data practices of the sites they visit. The tool comprises two main sections, a short notice site policy summary and a tracker manager for trackers, ads, and other third-party scripts.
The Privacy Summary section is an icon-based privacy short notice summary of each site’s data collection practices according to their privacy policies. The tool will initially be a simple, consumer-facing presentation layer of a TRUSTe-hosted XML-based policy database. Still, it could ultimately become an open-source standard for inclusion by browser manufacturers and available for certification by other third-party privacy authorities.
The Tracker Manager section provides consumers control over which companies track browsing behavior by blocking all third party trackers that collect information and serve targeted ads except those the user chooses to allow.
Privacy Short Notice
The Privacy Summary section is an icon-based privacy short notice summary of a site’s data collection practices based on a TRUSTe-hosted XML policy database. Initially the database will be populated according to our internal interpretation of these site’s privacy policies, but ultimately the product could support a user-generated wiki-based policy assessment as well.
The final design for the short notice consists of three categories (Third Party Tracking, Data Use, and Data Sharing). These categories were selected because they represent data practices that are invisible to the user. Each category has three possible values ranging from most to least restrictive data practices. The tracking section also displays basic results of our tracker detection with a link to the tracker section.
Several design presentations for this content were tested (for more about the design and testing process see the Short Notice Design blog post).
The Tracker Manager section provides consumers control over which companies track browsing behavior by blocking all third party trackers except those the user chooses to allow. When enabled it blocks third party tracking, but not first party tracking or third party content. These controls can be as simple as restricting tracking by technology (cookie, script, web bug), but users who want more granular tracker blocking controls can use the advanced section which allows users control over all trackers in our database at a domain level.
We are excited to be releasing products for consumers that provide transparency around the data practices of the sites they visit. This project is currently ongoing and feedback is invited. If you have any questions or comments please contact Travis Pinnick, TRUSTe User Experience Designer at [email protected].
Follow me on twitter at @xtratrav.