Re-designing & re-modeling Social Network terms, policies, community guidelines and charters: Towards a user-centric approach
First, users of SNS are not a homogenous group, but rather a very heterogeneous audience. At the moment, information is drafted with a single, standard user in mind. However, we know that different users process and make sense of information differently, therefore, alternative ways of presenting information, including visualisation and information design may be avenues worthwhile exploring. A tool that is suggested is ‘smart disclosure’, using big data to provide users with personalised information. For instance, some SNS users may value privacy less and attach more value to the protection of their intellectual property, such as photos and videos. A personalised approach may provide these users with more information on their intellectual property rights and less about privacy. However, it is necessary to explore how this exactly would work in practice and which legal implications this could have for providers as well as users.
In summary, we believe that it is necessary to start focusing on users/consumers′ needs, expectations and values in order to develop visualisation tools that can help make law (more) meaningful to users/consumers by giving them a better insight into their rights and obligations and by guiding them in making truly informed decisions regarding their online choices and behaviour.
Despite the promising character of these models, SNS have inherent characteristics that may complicate the actual implementation. The most important feature in this context is the fact that SNS experience network effects, implying that it is likely that users will stay with the SNS where all their friends are. Even if this SNS does not offer user-friendly terms, it is likely that users will not switch to the SNS that is more user-friendly. A combination of data portability and awareness raising may help to provide users with incentives to switch. Data portability is the right to transfer (personal) data from one SNS provider to and into another, without being prevented from doing so by the original SNS provider. This right to data portability is inserted in the proposal for a new Data EU Protection framework and it remains to be seen whether this principle will be upheld or not when the review is finalised.
You can download the report here.
 Commission, Proposal COM(2012) 11 final for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation), 2012, available at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/document/review2012/com_2012_11_en.pdf.