Thursday, May 31, 2018

Painfully Tortured New Privacy Statements


Why are all those new privacy statements piling up in your Inbox? 



Didn’t you hear – this is the New Age of Privacy.
And in the spirit of full disclosure, so illusive these days, I thought I’d share a lingust's take on the often painfully tortured privacy statements crafted to assure us that our data will remain private.

The General Data Protection Regulations(GDPR),  New European Union privacy laws, went into effect May 25 2018.

So,  I’ll be blogging through a wide range of these privacy new statements – from eBay to Facebook. 
Hope you enjoy and I truly welcome your comments and …..well, HELP!

Let's start at the beginning.
Since many of the new policy statements we’re getting from companies verbatim lifts statements from the GDPR website, let’s start with their explanation of "personal information".
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[From the GDPR website May 2018)
What is Personal Information?

Answer
Personal data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable living individual. Different pieces of information, which collected together can lead to the identification of a particular person, also constitute personal data.
Personal data that has been de-identified, encrypted or pseudonymised but can be used to re-identify a person remains personal data and falls within the scope of the law.
Personal data that has been rendered anonymous in such a way that the individual is not or no longer identifiable is no longer considered personal data. For data to be truly anonymised, the anonymisation must be irreversible.

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eBay has cut and pasted much of this linguistic gymnastics in its new privacy policy





So many troubles ...so little time.

Let’s start with the low hanging fruit – vocabulary
Identified
Identifiable
De-identified
Pseudonymised
Anonymous – and all its declentions – anonymised, anonymisation

It’s usually a dicey task to judge the reading level of specific words.  But just based on FleschKincaid paragraph grade level alone – 13th grade and higher - these words are post High School level.


As I’ve often reported in this blog, at least 50%US read at 8th grade level and lower.  Often much lower!
So what's behind this kind of writing. 
Ignorance of the reading public
Lazziness
planned obfuscation ( how's that for a word)?

Any thoughts? 

I'll turn to sentence structure in the next post. 
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