Morehead State University

Poster Title

Readability and Comprehension of Privacy Policies

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

This project analyzed the comprehension of information in online privacy policies of web retailers, based upon different Flesh-Kincaid Readability Scores. This project manipulated the reading level and score of privacy policies of major online retailers. The study involved manipulating the writing style/format of existing privacy policies, downloaded from the respective websites. The procedure consisted of the students being randomly assigned to review two privacy policies of selected companies. Student subjects were asked to read the privacy policies, and then answer questions regarding the content and information presented in the policies. Students were given time to read and review the policies. They were then asked to complete a survey asking them about the content of the policies they read. Half of the students read and completed the survey on the computer and half of the students read and completed the survey via pencil and paper to determine if there was a difference in reading comprehension in reading on the computer and on paper. Questions on the survey covered information on data collection, storage and retrieval of data, sharing data, and individual options regarding personal information. The data were then analyzed to determine what effect, if any, ease or difficulty of reading level plays in comprehension of content.

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Readability and Comprehension of Privacy Policies

This project analyzed the comprehension of information in online privacy policies of web retailers, based upon different Flesh-Kincaid Readability Scores. This project manipulated the reading level and score of privacy policies of major online retailers. The study involved manipulating the writing style/format of existing privacy policies, downloaded from the respective websites. The procedure consisted of the students being randomly assigned to review two privacy policies of selected companies. Student subjects were asked to read the privacy policies, and then answer questions regarding the content and information presented in the policies. Students were given time to read and review the policies. They were then asked to complete a survey asking them about the content of the policies they read. Half of the students read and completed the survey on the computer and half of the students read and completed the survey via pencil and paper to determine if there was a difference in reading comprehension in reading on the computer and on paper. Questions on the survey covered information on data collection, storage and retrieval of data, sharing data, and individual options regarding personal information. The data were then analyzed to determine what effect, if any, ease or difficulty of reading level plays in comprehension of content.