3 days ago, an association of several of big Swiss companies, Migros, Swisscom, SBB-CFF or Credit Suisse presented the outcomes of a joint project helping the consumers to understand the processing purpose of their personal data they could give to these companies.
It comes from the fact that privacy policies include legal and complex words that very few of us can clearly understand, maybe also preventing us to continue our journey when buying an online services. Therefore, in order to improve this transparency, this association of companies released a set of icons, under the name of Privacy Icons, that are available for free.
These 19 icons are simple, exist in both positive (understand, "we do something") or a strikethrough negative version ("we do not do something"), thus offering a better readability to the consumer and is a first step, or at least an opportunity, to become a Swiss standard. For this, these icons need to be adopted by a sufficient number of companies quickly, and parallel initiatives should not grow too much for these icons to be recognized as a de-facto standard. We can even imagine that this initiative could be brought to the attention of the European Commission, provided it would be interested in a way of simplifying the read of privacy policies.
Except the fact that these icons can be downloaded for free, the privacy-icons.ch web site also proposes a style guide for web sites, mobile or even paper-based media.
It is expected that other companies, like BKW and Zurich Assurance, to adopt and complete their privacy policies with these icons, and the Privacy Icons association - founded in June this year - encourages other enterprises to adopt them to simplify the readability of their privacy policies.
(image source : Privacy Icons)