Privacy Column Fodder

Feature comparison charts¬† showing N competing product offerings vs. M features are called column fodder in the sales and marketing liturature. Sales men like to offer them up to their customers in the hope that the customer will then turn around and use them to show his purchasing department that he carefully weighted the alternatives and picked the most cost effective product. The devil is in the details; so it’s a huge advantage if you can get the customer to use your template to do the analysis.

That disclaimer now made. I will fall victim to just that scam and recommend this one for it’s list of things to think about when working on a privacy policy.

It’s a good starting point for thinking about how hard this stuff is. For example consider the feature: “Requires member consent if info is shared w/3rd parties.”¬† All the vendors shown get a check mark for that. But I very much doubt that the term “3rd party” means the same thing for each of them. For example are a firm’s partners a “3rd party.” Contrast that to AT&T Broadband old policy that allowed release to 3rd parties; but then third parties turned out to be a huge group of people; include all their subscribers.”

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