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January 17, 2017

 "Explain it to me like I'm a 6 year old."


I first heard this line spoken by Denzel Washington in the 1993 movie Philadelphia .  Since then, I've adopted and used that line many times in an attempt to get folks to explain complex things in a simpler manner.  Lately I've found myself reiterating that sentiment whenever I review privacy polices for services and applications.  The amount of legalese placed into these agreements renders them almost unreadable.  This can be particularly concerning when the users of such applications are minors.


Recently, Jenny Afia -- a privacy law expert at Schillings, a UK-based law firm -- demonstrated that it is actually possible to translate the legalese into simple, easy-to-understand language as part of a report released by the UK Children's Commissioner, Ms. Afia translated the 17-page Instagram privacy policy into a one page document using child friendly language.  This translation (found on page 10 of the aforementioned report) makes a terrific starting point for parents to discuss online privacy with minors and help them understand the rights they may or may not be giving up by using a particular online app.  The report also lists several other resources that are worth your time. 


Check it out!


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