Key learnings from a series of user tests with Hindi-first users on how much they comprehend current privacy and consent notices.

Users comprehend more when presented with simpler terminology

Users can comprehend terminology related to privacy and consent notices when these are presented in a simpler, conversational language. Users who were presented with words that are part of their daily conversations were able to develop a better understanding of the context.

Context is very important for consent

Users may understand many of the terms in isolation but when placed in the context of privacy and consent, they need information on context to make a decision.

Aversion to reading privacy documents is not resolved by translation or transliteration alone

All of the users who were shown a link to Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions during sign-up chose to not click on the hyperlink to read these in detail. This remained unchanged despite use of different translations and transliterations such as  डेटा नीति, प्राइवेसी नीति,  प्राइवेसी पॉलिसी,  निजता नीति, etc.  Users interpret ‘Privacy Policy’ and ‘Terms and Condition' document as the same and use these interchangeably. When a policy document is presented with a separate heading and iconography, more users choose to click on the policy hyperlink to read more.

Users build understanding through supporting text

When faced with a new conceptual word, users will look at supporting text to derive meaning. In flows where users were able to look at complimentary words to understand a concept, their learning and retention fared better.

Some terms need more digital literacy

For some terms, simple translations or transliterations cannot resolve issues in comprehension. These terms require higher digital literacy among users. Full comprehension of these terms will have to be developed over time, through education and by communicating value to the users.

Users misunderstand some terms when they are used in different contexts

Users tend to use concepts learnt in other contexts to understand new information. Terms like ‘data’, which hold dual meanings (both as ‘information’ as well as ‘mobile data’) can lead to confusion or misinterpretation when reading about 'Data Transfer' or 'Data Policy'. There is a need for use of terminology that is free of previous bias.

Some terms are completely overlooked by users

Some terminology presented on screen is often ignored by the users or users are unable to pay attention to them. This may be due to lesser visual prominence or banner blindness on the part of the user.