Too Much Hyper-Transparency

Ok, this has Ryan and I laughing a bit today.

This week we touched on how Slideshare, which mind you is owned by LinkedIn, did a great job on their recent privacy change notice. They explained everything in a consumer manner and didn’t get all technical and legalistic.


While we are happy that something was sent out about LinkedIn’s privacy policy update to its users, but we have some minor relevancy issues with it.

Why all of the sudden the differences in tactics between their brands? The tone of the Slideshare one was great we thought, but this one is a little harsher and confusing. I mean, John Caldwell will be calling soon asking us what does all this mean?

It’s just not considering the audience and it’s too much information. If my father read this he would be confused! It leaves many non-technical readers in the cold we think.  I can hear it now,do I need to change those now or did you? what is HTTPS?

Ryan mentioned that “if you change to HTTPS, then just say” “we’re incorporating the same type security that you have when you make purchases online” or something like that. Help people compare these changes to things already done in life.

This was a odd attempt at being to much transparent. I mean, I get it guys, you want to work with your customers, but don’t add to the confusion here. To us it looks like to many people took a stab at editing it to make it perfect or some legal person didn’t know how to easily explain these features to the average consumer of their platform. I’m sure all the CTO and CSO type in the LinkedIn database got it, but not sure if the non-technical people did.

There is a clear balance needed when talking to consumers these days about their privacy preferences. There have been many stories done over the years about the different services out there today that make their policies and notices to long and again confusing.

In my opinion, I think LinkedIn could have done a better job notifying the users that some changes are being made or that new choices are available. Explained better what two step verification was before pushing the user into a demo of how to turn it on. Even explained again what HTTPS is and why it is important to the user.

Still love the service as I’ve only been on it believe it or not only a year, but the notices are less desired from a piracy notice perspective we think. Of course, better to have something than nothing 🙂


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