28 January, 2011

Privacy Icons : Phraud


See! I was supposed to use a word for fraud which starts with P (so, to go well with the other article titles). I did maintain all the constraints - but I cheated blatantly with the word that I used, exploiting the power of human cognition. Cannot similar things be done with privacy icons, to imply something that is not? Hell yeah, the possibility is endless. So what to do when we encounter such cases, or the browser does? We notify the user about the issue, right?

A classical preload-notice is cliché - USERS WON'T READ but press "OK, Proceed..." and even if they understand that there's a privacy-concern about this site, they will not have a clear idea (without reading the warning very carefully) exactly what it was about. Some other notification method may also come to your mind, came to mine one too - but none of them were 0% annoying, except for one.

Elements are painted-red if a fraud is detected with its corresponding parameter.

I said that I wanted the icons to be monochromatic 'as much' possible - but now I'd bow to this exceptional situation (Heh, ain't I histrionic? Psst. it's all pre-planned). Let's suppose, a site says it keeps the user data as long as 3 months but actually practices to keep them longer than that. Here, if we (the browser) make the persistence-arc chromatically different than the others, then voila! The icon remains intact, no annoying popup/notices/texts - but just at the very look at the icon, the user will know where exactly the trouble is (& what's better color than red in this case?). Same procedure can be applied for each and every parameter, and the browser has to do that by matching the HTML attribute-value and the site's privacy-practice list record.

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