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Study Says Short-Form Notice Can Be Ambiguous

MOBILE PRIVACY—U.S.

July 19, 2013

A new study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) reveals that the U.S. Commerce Department short-form notice proposal, as it currently defines data collection notice categories, has the potential to confuse consumers, Online Media Daily reports. The proposal calls for app developers to describe data types that will be collected—such as “biometrics”—and what types of third parties receive collected data—such as “ad networks.” The study surveyed 800 consumers and four experts about which terms they would use to categorize collection practices. Lorrie Cranor, a CMU computer scientist who oversaw the study, said the terms are “not well-defined, even the experts weren’t sure how to apply them,” and added, “When you have a bunch of lawyers and policy people coming up with the consumer tools, they’re not going to come up with something that is necessarily usable.”
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