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28 January, 2011

Privacy Icons : Perversion

Call it the first step into our privacy icon design - we will essentially draw a circle (and something more). Let's make the outer shell is the wall of our privacy - makes sense, eh? So, where there are walls, there are leaks. And these leaks on the walls can technically be of 4 types; let's tag 'em-
  1. Frontal Leak: Nearly each and every company tracks and uses their user data for business strategy, customer services and logistic purposes. A company with many daughter projects may have super-sets of users in many of those projects, and so may use the same data for all the daughter projects, which that member has joined (or availed services). Say for example you, having a Google ID, have joined Gmail, Buzz, YouTube, Calendar, etc. and whenever you join new Google services with that ID, at the moment of first-use/basic-setup you can see your that product-related data (Name, DoB, events etc.) has been fetched from your account already. You didn't give those details to this service (explicitly), but having you as existing member, the system has done that for you. There's not much of choice which you can opt here; and this being the same organization, doesn't hurt much anyway - but none the less, the user has the right to know the information inter-sharing and thus the front (& right) side of the Icon is leaked.

  2. Privacy is Protected Frontal (Internal) Leak Backyard (External) Leak
  3. Backyard Leak: This is the fishy one, and also the most discussed one too. You want to know whether this service will give out (sell, mainly) your data to other companies (partner sites, ad-agencies) behind your knowledge or not - simple. I'm not going into examples, it's not easy to name one. If the company acts in under-the-table business, then the privacy icon has to reflect that. This leak is on the hind (left) side.

  4. Federal Leak: i.e. in simple words, whenever there's a federal/govt. pressure to hand over your user data, and you comply without going into any trouble (without verifying whether formal procedures have been performed to have the data or not,) handing over the data, then the icon will have a top-leak. For the cases where procedural approaches made by Govt. or any other upper-hand, there's nothing too much to do about it for the website, and mostly any site will have to give in. Hence we won't consider it as a leak.

  5. Security Leak: This is the controversial one (even I'm not sure, whether it's 'to-be-or-not-to-be' implemented or used ever) but, if there's a chance or history of security issues, those sites has to wear this monkey-cap. As being the spookiest and the leakiest-leak, it's at the bottom! Hope it makes sense.

  6. Federal Leak Security Leak All Leaks
Now now, as I've described those leaks, and how to visualize 'em, there's one single prick may poke in your mind if you've spotted - why the numbering is 01-02-04-08 and not 1-2-3-4? Well, I have an alibi for that; I'm smart, ain't?

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