CC-inspired projects for Terms of Service and Privacy policies

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Over the years, several projects have started with the intention of doing for Terms of Services and/or Privacy policies what Creative Commons has done for Copyright notices. Most of these projects have been abandoned after a while, but some are still alive.

Please add to the list if you have relevant information!

Privacy Icons

Started by Aza Raskin while he was working for Mozilla, this project has done a great job drafting icons to describe a select set of privacy parameters. Being a Mozilla project, there's a chance that the icons may be presented in a dedicated browser panel rather than on a webpage somewhere on a website. Last known activity: December 2010.


Initially focusing on Terms of Service rather than Privacy Policies. Currently (September 2011) analyzing ToS documents to find common terms, and planning to create icons and associated legal definitions for those. Run by Pär Lannerö with support from the Swedish Internet fund.

Privacy commons

Draft icons by Aaron Helton described for example who owns User Generated Content: User, provider company or shared ownership. Last known activity: February 2009

Know privacy

Report from a project by students at the UC Berkely School of Information in 2009. Drafted icons describing how user's data is being collected and shared.


Matthias Mehldau created a large set of icons answering the questions "What data is collected", "How is my data handled", "For what purpose" and "For how long". Last known activity: 2007

European privacy open space

EU project proposed the idea of cc-like icons but no icons as far as I know. Last known activity: 2009