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Only make useful references

I’ve been reading a number of privacy policies and notices lately – not very exciting but necessary with new privacy laws coming into effect on 12 March.

One policy included the following (slight edits made to protect that business):

Disclosure to overseas recipients

We may disclose your personal information to overseas parties. If we disclose your personal information to overseas recipients, we will do so in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Links in a circle interupted by one faulty link

Circular links don’t really help people follow the information flow

Under new laws, you must specify if any data will be stored outside of Australia so this section is necessary. But I don’t find it particularly helpful to be told to read their policy to find out if my data goes overseas – especially as I am already reading their policy…

make references useful

  1. never refer back to the same document (a different section of the document is fine, of course) as it is circular and meaningless
  2. give enough information to make the reference easy to follow up on. For example, ‘refer to the product section of our website’ or ‘see page 6 of the member handbook’ give clarity
  3. if online, add a hyperlink to the appropriate page, not just the home page.
  4. give some idea of what can be found at the reference so people can judge if it is relevant to them. It doesn’t have to be a long list, but some guidance helps – ‘details on widget sizes’ or ‘widget care instructions’ or even ‘background research about widgets’ is more useful than ‘for more information’.



6 Responses to Only make useful references

  • Kostas says:

    This is a great post. It is important that we reference our sources, but yes those references need to be valuable and of good quality.

    • TashWord says:

      Thanks for your comment, Kostas, and apologies for not replying sooner. it is important to make references useful – and acknowledging sources of information is also important and needs to be clear and accurate.

  • Good points. I especially like your comments about “for more information” not being very useful. Have been guilty of writing that myself in the past!

    Not many people know that if you want to link to an online PDF, you can go straight to the right page, rather than just page 1. (I’ve a post about that on my blog, but your comment form’s not allowing any links!)

    (Also, you might be interested in makegreatDOTcomDOTau, a blog by a trainer who works for a Sydney law firm.)

  • Pingback: Take care with huge claims!

  • Jermaine says:

    The information that was given was very informative the reference was useful also. It is very acknowledging and powerful also. i would recommend this to anyone who want to learn more information.

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