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Jul
12
2011

Privacy Manager Browser Client

By Travis Pinnick
User Experience Designer | TRUSTe
@xtratrav

[For more background on the design of the TRUSTe Privacy Manager see the earlier post on Designing Browser Privacy Tools.]


TRUSTe is preparing to release our Privacy Manager for Firefox, a browser client for consumers that provides transparency around the data practices of the sites they visit. The tool is comprised of 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, but could ultimately become an open-source standard for inclusion by browser manufacturers 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.

View Interactive Demo »


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).


Tracker Manager
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.

The design of the tracker manager section is shown here:


Future Work
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 tpinnick@truste.com.

Follow me on twitter at @xtratrav.

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