A new chat tool developed in part by a UW-Madison professor will assist online users to better understand privacy policies.
Kassem Fawaz, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison, partnered with colleagues from the University of Michigan and the Ècole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland to create the program.
The chat tool is an interactive way to help users grapple with the complex terminology of privacy policies from websites and agreements.
The chatbot can answer questions about specific privacy policies without requiring users themselves to weed through all of the fine print, according to a news release.
While most privacy policies are usually lengthy and riddled with confusing language, the tool will help users put this language into simple terms, making them more aware of their internet privacy and rights.
The chatbot can be found on pribot.org, and functions like a text messaging platform. According to the release, the tool is designed to look and function like a text-messaging conversation with a good friend, complete with blue and gray speech bubbles and emojis.
The researchers said they hoped the tool would give people more comfort when it comes to protection of their privacy.
In addition to pribot.org, the researchers also created a tool called Polisis, which will inform users on how companies are collecting and using their data.
The researchers stress the necessity of an easy template to navigate in order to assist internet users’ privacy and protection.
“We believe people really do care about privacy, and we want to help them take active steps to protect it,” Fawaz said in the release.