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AT&T Privacy Bird® Tour


As you spend more time on the Internet, more information about you and your Web activities is being shared with Web sites and used without your knowledge. It is difficult to determine what companies are getting access to your information or what they will do with it.

The AT&T Privacy Bird is a tool that can be added to your Internet Explorer Web browser. It allows you to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet, while helping you to remain aware of Web site privacy policies. The software will search automatically for privacy policies at every web site you visit. You can tell the software about your privacy concerns (for examples, see below), and it will tell you whether each site's policies match your privacy preferences.

The AT&T Privacy Bird allows you to ask for warnings at web sites that may:

  • Share your personal information with other companies
  • Use your health or medical information for marketing
  • Put you on mailing lists that you can't get off of
  • And more ....

This tour highlights the main features of the AT&T Privacy Bird. On this tour you will learn:

Chirping bird tells you if your preferences are met

screen shot of bird icon and main menu

The AT&T Privacy Bird searches automatically for privacy policies at every web site you visit. You can tell the AT&T Privacy Bird about your personal privacy preferences, and it will notify you as to whether each site's policies match your privacy preferences by displaying a bird icon in the top right of your browser's title bar. You can click on the bird at any time to open the the AT&T Privacy Bird menu.

green bird icon green bird icon with exclamation point The singing green bird appears when the AT&T Privacy Bird determines that a web site's privacy policy matches your preferences. If the site contains images or other embedded content that do not have privacy policies associated with them, or that have privacy policies that do not match your preferences, a red exclamation point will appear next to the notes in the bird's song bubble.

red bird icon The angry red bird appears when the AT&T Privacy Bird determines that a web site's privacy policy conflicts with your preferences.

yellow bird icon The uncertain yellow bird appears when the AT&T Privacy Bird is unable to fetch or read a privacy policy from the web site you are visiting. The policy must be encoded according to the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) standard in order for the Privacy Tool to fetch it. If the policy contains an error or if it has expired or is not valid, the yellow bird will appear. While a web page is loading and the AT&T Privacy Bird is in the process of looking for the accompanying privacy policy, the yellow bird will appear to be turning its head from side to side.

gray bird icon The sleeping gray bird appears when the AT&T Privacy Bird has been disabled.

Privacy preference settings give you more control

screen shot of My Preferences menu

When you click on the bird icon and select My Preferences, a menu appears that allows you to set your AT&T Privacy Bird preferences.

Privacy preferences

The Privacy Preference Settings panel allows you to configure the AT&T Privacy Bird according to your personal privacy preferences. When the AT&T Privacy Bird encounters a web site that does not match your privacy preferences, the red bird icon appears in your browser title bar.

The simplest way to select privacy preference settings is to select from one of the pre-configured settings -- low, medium, or high. These settings indicate the number of web site practices that will trigger privacy warnings. When you select one of these settings, check marks will appear next to the specific items that will trigger warnings under that setting.

If you are not entirely satisfied with one of the pre-configured settings, you can click on the check boxes to add additional warning triggers or to remove warning triggers.

the AT&T Privacy Bird can trigger warnings at sites that use the following information in various ways that you may not find acceptable: health or medical information, financial or purchase information, personally identifiable information, non-personally identifiable information.

View the privacy preference settings panel.

Sounds quickly alert you to matches and mismatches

You can configure the AT&T Privacy Bird to play a sound after performing a privacy check. A melodic three-note chirp accompanies the privacy policy match (green bird) icon. A three-note "question mark" chirp accompanies the unknown policy (yellow bird) icon. A single crow sound accompanies the privacy policy mismatch (red bird) icon. You can configure the AT&T Privacy Bird to always play sounds, never play sounds, or play sounds only with certain icons.

Learn about web site privacy policies

screen shot of About This Site  menu

When you click on the bird icon and select About This Site, a menu appears that allows you to learn more about the privacy policies at the web site you are currently visiting.

Policy Summary

The Policy Summary item displays a summary of a web site's privacy policy and an indication as to whether or not that policy matches your personal privacy preferences.

At the top of the Policy Summary panel is a short "privacy check" section. This section indicates whether or not the policy matches your personal privacy preferences. At sites that match your preferences, the background color of the panel is pale green. At sites that do not match your preferences, the background color is pink. In addition, at sites that do not match your preferences, this section contains a bulleted list of conflict points between your preferences and the site's policy.

The second section of the Policy Summary panel is the privacy policy summary itself. This summary includes a list of statements, information about the data described in each statement, information about whether the site allows you to access your data, information about contacting the site, and information about resolving privacy-related disputes. At the end of the policy summary there is a link to the web site's full privacy policy. The full policy is the site's privacy policy written in their own words.

View an example policy summary.

Opt-in/Opt-out Info

The Opt-in/Opt-out Info item opens a new window containing the web site's instructions for opting out of or opting in to mailing lists, marketing, etc.

Embedded Content

The Embedded Content item opens a new window containing a list of all of the images and other files that are embedded in the web page you are currently visiting. You can use this list to view the privacy policy associated with each embedded item. Often if a web page contains advertisements the advertising company's privacy policy applies to the advertisements -- not the privacy policy of the web site.



Terms and Conditions. Privacy Policy.
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