Module 5 Week 5 Discussion Post

September 23, 2015

Consumer privacy is an enduring concern on the Web.  Read these privacy statements:

As you compare and contrast them, please indicate

  • Which is clearest (informs consumers in simple, easy to understand language)
  • Which offers consumers the greatest protection
  • Which is most ethical and which is least ethical.  Be sure to indicate what you mean by “ethical” in making these judgments.


I like the clean way, and simple or “plain spoken” tone and voice of the Principal Financial Group privacy policy. It’s broken up into understandable, digestible pieces of information for the user to easily read and comprehend. I also appreciated the explanation of the use and detail on cookies, as well as ad tracking information.

The Barack Obama website privacy policy is fairly cut and dry. There isn’t a lot of context on what the mechanics are of the what the policy covers, compared to that of Principal Financial Group.

Disney has a fairly robust privacy policy center. There are similar sections of content and explanation to that of the Principal Financial Group. Additionally, the clearly marked sections and details is easy for consumers to both read and understand. The definitions and contact/question section is also potentially helpful for users.

The Principal Financial Group policy appears to cover all the bases on the major legal and consumer interest topics, including COPPA and ad tracking with what that information is used for, and including how long it is tracked. Additionally, the detail in what specific information the user provides and how that information is both captured, tracked, how to update and change the information by the user, and it appears how to also opt-out.

From an ethical perspective, I believe Principal Financial Group has the most ethical, especially given the fact that the company transacts financial information for its customers. Additionally, it includes COPPA information and how they don’t specifically market to children. I’m not sure I would call any of the privacy policies as being, “unethical,” but when I first read the Barack Obama website online policy, it was interesting to note that the site is under a different company/organization, specifically Organizing for Action. This could potentially be somewhat confusing for users who aren’t necessarily aware of how politics work within our country and the involvement of other organization types, such as Political Action Committees (PACs) or other incorporated entities.

Coincidentally, I’m currently responsible for maintaining my company’s privacy policy and terms of use as our technology, tracking, advertising, and email softwares, platforms and policies evolve. I work very closely with our legal team for any changes we need to implement; regulatory or technologically related. I’m not sure if any other classmates have experience with such maintenance of an organization’s privacy policy, or creating one for a new organization, but I’m usually the one who has to remember and remind our teams of any potential conflicts or required updates to the policy as we advance our business.

Have you had any experience with an organization’s privacy policy or terms of use? What are the similarities or differences between the two that you’ve noticed?

Post Tags:

COPPA, MMC6213, Privacy Policy, Strategic Communications, Terms of Use,