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Online Privacy: Industry Self-Regulation in Practice

Google Tech Talk September 17, 2009 ABSTRACT Aleecia M. McDonald will speak about industry self-regulation for online privacy. After a brief overview of how we got here, we will explore the status quo through two studies. First, what is the user burden if people read online privacy policies? How long would it take to do so, and what is the economic value of that time? Second, how well can users understand privacy policies? We evaluated six privacy policies in three different presentation formats and found standardized formats do not help users as much as their proponents might like. Finally, we conclude with an overview of public policy options for online privacy. Bring your ideas, we could have a lively discussion. Aleecia M. McDonald is a PhD candidate in Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is a member of the Cylab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) research laboratory. Her interests span the intersection of Internet technology, policy, economics, and law. Ms. McDonald's research includes the efficacy of industry self regulation, behavioral economics and mental models of privacy, network traffic analysis to combat spyware, automotive privacy, and RFID technology. In addition to a decade of experience working for software startups, Ms. McDonald holds an MS in Public Policy and Management, and a BA in Professional Writing, both from Carnegie Mellon. Her findings have been featured in media outlets such as the Washington Post, Ars Technica, Free Press' Media Minute, and have contributed to testimony before the Federal Trade Commission.
Length: 57:54

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