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Icons of Privacy

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Analogue to the Creative Commons licenses that use lawyer-readable, machine-readable and human-readable formats, there has been some movement towards developing a similar approach for data privacy. The P3P protocol already combined the lawyer-readable plus machine-readable approaches, and the privacy bird browser extension was a first raw attempt to graphically display if a web site's P3P privacy policy is conform with your own privacy preferences.

More recently, there have been attempts to design more meaningful icon sets that symbolize the different uses of personal data by web services. The first example I am aware of was presented by Mary Rundle from the Identity Commons Working Group on Identity Rights Agreements last year at the UN Internet Governance Forum (see the pdf of her presentation here, the icons and the idea are on slides 7 and 8).

Now (apparently inspired because I told him about this), Matthias Mehldau from the popular German blog has designed a whole set of private data usage symbols. It's spreading heavily in Germany's blogosphere at the moment, and he calls for designers and privacy experts to develop this version 0.1 further. It's licensed under a creative commons by (not: nc) license. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Disclaimer: I also blog at
von Ralf Bendrath, gepostet am Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2007 um 23:19
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