I like running. And my privacy.

A friend of mine asked me to join a local urban trail run. My first reaction was: “Yes! Sounds fun!”. But that feeling of excitement was replaced by a feeling of doubt.

When I clicked the “register” button I was taken to another website. Owned by the same company, but a totally different look and feel, no message warning users what was going to happen. No, they would lure you in, make you click “register” and take you to a different URL.


All fields required

The form I was presented with was just awful. They asked for all sorts of personal information: my gender, date of birth, nationality, home address and my brand of running shoes.

If you require that type of information from me ( me as in “A User of your website / service” ) please ensure you do at least two things for me in return.

Tell me:

  1. how you are going to ensure my data is safe in your hands
  2. why you need all this information

Failing to do so makes you look suspicious. Especially if your terms and conditions contain these lines of text in a pop-up window, somewhat hidden in a popup.

We are free to share your information with our partners.

Who are those partners? I have no idea.

The company in the story above, clearly has no clue how data collection and more importantly, storage and usage, should work in 2014.

Conclusion

There is a big difference between asking for my personal info and sharing it with your partners at your own peril and asking for my information, promising you will do your best to protect my data and provide me with valuable services.

Offering me a bib number so I can participate in your 12k is not an example of what I mean when I think of a valuable service.

credit: image of marathon runner by Runsociety