Got Privacy? Google Shows How It’s Done


Share on LinkedIn

As a gadget freak, my growing collection of personal screens follows me around the house, into my car, shops and friends’ houses. As I’ve been clicking through the weekend (in pursuit of the Guinness record for “number of open windows”) Google’s new notice keeps popping up: “We’ve changed our privacy policy. This stuff matters [click here].” It does matter – nobody knows this more than loyalty marketers. But my bet is that you and most other consumers, like me, close the message and blissfully keep clicking away.

Privacy is somewhat of a catch-22 for consumers. The more transparent and proactive companies are about expressing (and repeating) their privacy policies, the more consumers will ignore them. Click, click, click…ten open windows… privacy notice…Ok I guess these guys have it all taken care of, let’s open another window…. Wait, why is my daughter texting me during school? And did I remember to put the recycling out?

Consumers are busy and distracted. Very few have the time, or desire, to read through detailed privacy policies. But at the same time, they need to know that box is checked off. Companies that push that information out make customers feel secure. I know that Google is putting it all out there, and if there are any problems with the policy, someone with more time than I have will ferret it out and let me know. In other words, because Google is pushing their policy, I trust them.

It’s pull that triggers the privacy alarm – when a customer has to go searching for hidden and confusing privacy information. This can be sparked by engaging with a company that asks for personal information but doesn’t explain why. When trust gets called into question, customers stop clicking and quickly evaluate the value proposition. Is it worth it to share this information? Do I trust what this company will do with it? Do I have time to go searching for and read their privacy policy? With dozens of other open screens (and Google’s ever-present promise to open more), customer will click away from a non-trustworthy site faster than you can close a pop-up ad.

Google’s privacy revamp offers three simple guidelines for companies determined to keep their website or app open for consumers:

– Push the information out to customers

– Make it easy to read and understand

– Keep it updated, and let consumers know when you do

Google has my trust. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a dozen other screens to open before I can even begin my workday. Oh, and take out the recycling.

Phaedra Hise
As Senior Editor, COLLOQUY, Phaedra leads the creation of new editorial pieces for multiple distinct content platforms in the COLLOQUY media enterprise: COLLOQUY magazine, the Enterprise Loyalty in Practice journal, COLLOQUY web site, COLLOQUY social media blog, COLLOQUY Network Partner content commitments as well as other LoyaltyOne vehicles.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here