User data is a valuable resource. One that is both beneficial to your company as well as to the users themselves. For products to evolve and keep getting better, teams need to understand how their products are being used so they can make good design decisions.
User data is a sensitive resource and often reveals uniquely identifiable traits about a user’s behavior. For this reason, implementing a data classification policy can help protect your company as well as your user. It’s important to also be mindful of following the strict guidelines and rules for GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act, HIPAA, and any other laws that protect consumers’ data rights in your jurisdiction.
A good example of a data classification standard is one that UC Berkeley has implemented for its institution.
User data is a sensitive resource and often reveals uniquely identifiable traits about a user’s behavior.
Once you have implemented strong data protection policies, it’s important to also communicate what data you collect from your users. Below is an example of a data tracking disclosure that would be available to a user of a fictitious application called TakeOut Data.
Example Usage Tracking Disclosure
At TakeOut Data, we collect data to better understand how our users are interacting with our website and products. We use this data to improve our product as well as the user’s experience.
Below is a list of metrics and information that we collect.
This allows us to identify which versions are currently being used. This is helpful when we release updates & bug fixes.
Informs us of what operations system(s) is used to access our application.
Time in the application:
The amount of time that a user spends within our application.
We collect demographic information when a user creates an account. Some of these data are optional.
- Company Name (optional)
- Address, City, State, Country (optional)
- Industry (optional)
- Food Preferences (optional)
Number of orders
The number of orders that are placed within our application
Total amount spent on orders
The total amount spent on orders within our application
Which items and merchants that you have marked as favorites. This allows us to make better suggestions for you.
The above example is a short, non-comprehensive list of user attributes and metrics that would be tracked within the TakeOut Data application. It’s a good user experience to make available your data policy and example of tracked data. In some cases, it’s required to make this information available, along with a process for your users to opt-out of marketing tracking and selling of information. And you’ll also want to have processes in place for the total deletion of customer data if required by your laws.