Privacy Center

Privacy Center

Including a Privacy Policy with your company's website or mobile app is best practices and is even oftentimes required by multiple international laws, statutes and acts.

This is because privacy concerns are a very important aspect of running an online business.

To address privacy concerns even more thoroughly than can be done with a Privacy Policy, companies can include a "Privacy Center."


What is a Privacy Center

A Privacy Center is a one-stop place where users can find out anything and everything they need or want to know about the privacy practices of a company.

Privacy Centers tend to be interactive and well-organized, with a table of contents, menu items and icons to click on, a variety of sections to explore, and key information highlighted in a visual way.

As the Adobe Privacy Center says, the Privacy Center makes it easy to find information on topics related to privacy such as how a company collects and uses your personal information, and how you can control this.

Screenshot of Adobe Privacy Center

Note the use of eye-catching and easy-to-read icons, bullet-point lists and linked information.

A Privacy Center will typically be far more visually appealing and easy to navigate than a standard Privacy Policy agreement.

Compare the Adobe Privacy Center's readability with the readability of this big block of text from Google's Privacy Policy page:

Screenshot of Google Privacy Policy page

While all the same information is included in both places, and both are legally compliant ways of satisfying privacy laws, it's not difficult to see what format works best when you're trying to convey a lot of privacy information to your users in a way that's most accessible and easily understandable to them.

Examples of Privacy Centers

Privacy Centers can be much more simple than the Adobe center.

For example, the Unilever Privacy Policy page uses short sentences, lots of headings and links to each subsection of its Privacy Policy to make it easier for a user to navigate:

Unilever Privacy Center: Privacy Policy Page with Headings and Links

Unilever has a separate website for its Privacy Policy, which also helps make it stand out more and be its own navigable site:

Unilever Privacy Center: the Privacy Policy URL

The Walt Disney Company falls somewhere between Adobe and Unilever with the style and format of its Privacy Center.

Walt Disney uses icons and a picture to break up the page and make it more visually appealing, while it also uses a linked list of different sections of its Privacy Policy to break down information for users.

Screenshot of Walt Disney Privacy Center

A link to the full Privacy Policy agreement of Walt Disney ("Read the full privacy policy") is included at the bottom for people who prefer to read the standard policy as intended:

Walt Disney Privacy Center: The Read the full Privacy Policy link

The Disney Privacy Center also has its own website that's separate from other websites of the company:

Walt Disney Privacy Center: Privacy Policy URL

When Should You Have a Privacy Center

Start our Privacy Policy Generator to generate a Privacy Policy for your Privacy Center.

Having a Privacy Center as opposed to a simple, standard Privacy Policy agreement can be beneficial in a number of different circumstances:

  1. If your website or mobile app collects an exceptionally large amount of user data. If you collect a huge amount of user data that you need to disclose, a Privacy Center will allow you to disclose this data without overwhelming your users. Trying to read through a long Privacy Policy document will be difficult, unenjoyable and confusing for your users, especially if they're just trying to find out one specific piece of information.

    On the other hand, a Privacy Center is perfect for disclosing a lot of information in a really readable way.Having separate pages and links for different sections of information make it easy for a user to find relevant information without having to weed through paragraph after paragraph of dense text.

  2. If your website or mobile app collects sensitive user data. If you deal with data of a more sensitive nature such as financial information or medical record data, a Privacy Center can help you easily get your policies across on how you handle this sensitive data. Information that's exceptionally important to and sought out frequently by your users will be easy to locate.
  3. If you really want to highlight the importance you place on security and privacy of user data. Having a Privacy Center versus just a Privacy Policy document just looks good. It shows your users that you take privacy very seriously - seriously enough to give it its own website and spend time designing a Privacy Center. If you have a client or customer base that would be more concerned with Privacy than some others, a Privacy Center shows you're serious about security of personal data. Because a Privacy Center can utilize space, icons, links and images, it's easier to read, navigate and understand than a basic Privacy Policy.

    So, any time you think you and your users would benefit from this increased readability and navigation, a Privacy Center may be a good choice for you.

How to Design a Privacy Center

Start our Privacy Policy Generator to generate a Privacy Policy for your Privacy Center.

Here are some examples of how a Privacy Center can be very effective at conveying privacy policy information in an ultra-readable, user-friendly format.

Facebook

The Facebook Data Policy is broken down into a menu with icons and a question that will help a user locate which menu item he wants to review:

Screenshot of Facebook Data Policy Section

When a user clicks on any of the menu items on the left, the box expands to show an easy-to-read bullet list of key information:

Facebook Data Policy: Links are expanded

This is so much more convenient as well as easier to understand than a standard text-based Privacy Policy document.

The use of colors, icons, bulleted lists, short sentences, and interactive features make this an exceptional way to convey information to users.

YouTube

It's not surprising that YouTube's Policy Center homepage has a video as part of its introduction.

The use of a video as well as icons and broken-down sections really help a user understand and feel comfortable with the Policy Center:

Screenshot of YouTube Policy Center

Note that this is a "Policy Center" and not just a "Privacy Center." While information related to privacy is included, so is other relevant and important policy information including links to the "Legal Policies" and "Additional Policies" of YouTube.

Including everything in one easy-to-navigate place is a smart move that helps users feel informed without feeling overwhelmed.

Walmart

Walmart has a Privacy & Security page that uses large photos and easy-to-read hyperlinked text to help users find what they're looking for.

The Walmart Privacy Policy page is listed first and foremost, but other helpful prompts like Fraud Alerts, Notices and a FAQ are included so users can quickly find what they may be looking for:

Screenshot of Walmart Privacy & Security Center

When a user clicks on the "Walmart Privacy Policy" photo and text link box, they're taken to the full text of the Privacy Policy. There's a hyperlinked menu on the left that continues to make it easy for users to find what they're looking for:

Screenshot of Walmart Privacy Policy

LinkedIn

The LinkedIn Privacy Policy page utilizes icons and summary paragraphs to make the policy easier to navigate and understand. There's also an intro video to help users feel comfortable and informed while looking at this policy:

Screenshot of LinkedIn Privacy Policy

Users can click on an icon to be taken to that relevant section of the page, and then have access to the full text of the Privacy Policy:

LinkedIn Privacy Policy page: Section Icons

A short paragraph helps sum up the main points to take away from a section:

LinkedIn Privacy Policy page: Summary paragraph examples

eBay

The eBay Privacy Center has its own website and includes information about global privacy principles, government agencies and corporate privacy.

While this may seem like an abundance of information, eBay is a global company that has a very complex need for data security so it's no surprise that all of this information is included.

Screenshot of eBay Privacy Center

The breakdown of sections within the Privacy Center helps make each topic more approachable and understandable. Within each section is a further breakdown of topics so a user can quickly and easily locate what she's looking for even with all of this information available:

Example of Government Agencies section from eBay Privacy Center

If you're looking for a way to present a large amount of privacy information to your users, consider creating a Privacy Center.

By using images, videos, icons, colors, bulleted lists, pages and subpages, and interactive menus and features, you can present a lot of information to your users in a way that's easy to understand, easy to navigate, and visually appealing.

While a classic Privacy Policy page will always work, sometimes it can be a good thing to take that extra step to create a Privacy Center to display your policy details.

Sara P.

Sara P.

Law school graduate, B.A. in English/Writing. In-house writer.

This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.