7 Jul 2011

PrivacyVille: Zynga's New Game to Educate Users About Privacy



Zynga does games. That is the company's bread and butter. Zynga makes almost all of its money through Facebook. Facebook does not do privacy very well and often faces user backlash whenever privacy settings or options are changed. User backlash against Facebook is inherently bad for Zynga.
Zynga wants users to know that it cares about privacy despite what the Facebook mother ship is doing. Hence, Zynga has released a new "game" designed to teach users all about how the social gaming company treats user information, where it is stored and how it is used. Say hello to PrivacyVille.


Essentially, PrivacyVille is a cute guided tour through Zynga's privacy settings. There is not much actual "playing" involved with this game. There is an incentive to learning about Zynga's privacy policy as users can visit RewardVille to get zPoints.
PrivacyZille_Finished.jpg

"We think this is an important step in creating a recognizable interface to explain privacy, as opposed to the normal fine-print privacy statements you see on sites today. We want players to understand our policies, have fun while they learn about them, and most importantly, be incented to walk through the tutorial," Zynga wrote in an email.
There is a touch of irony here, of course. Facebook and privacy usually are not associated in the same sentence, unless there is some type of negative connotation. That goes double for when third-party application developers are added to the mix. This is a good move by Zynga to give away game points to teach users about privacy. The entire tour through PrivacyVille takes about five minutes and then there are a couple questions to answer at the end (to make sure you actually read the information in the tour) before sending the user to RewardVille.
What do you think of Zynga's attempt at transparency? Are you going to go get your zPoints by taking the PrivacyVille tour?

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