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Friday frivolity John Edwards
19 June 2015

Parks and Recreation edit

Privacy is a serious business, but like all serious topics, it can also provide a rich vein of humour. As Peter Ustinov famously said, comedy is simply a funny way of being serious. In this spirit, we’ve done a little mining for your Friday diversion.

As you know, the information privacy principles tell us first up, that you should only collect personal information that you really need for your business. The Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy wondered whether a hairdresser's information collecting practices were reasonable, and what kind of “ongoing relationship” they were expecting! The relevant fun begins about 4 mins 56 secs in.

Agencies have to tell you why they are collecting information, and what they will use it for. These statements are often buried in lengthy legalise which no one ever reads, but if you just go straight to the “yes I accept” button when your iTunes update arrives, how will you know what you’ve agreed to? Kyle got a nasty surprise in this episode of South Park. Please note this for the squeamish (I mean it! This is not suitable for work or home. But it does make the point so strongly about checking the terms and conditions of anything you might agree to).

If you don’t tell people what you are going to use their information for, do you really have any licence to use it? Might you adversely affect your brand or your relationship with your customer? Ron Swanson was pretty annoyed to find out that an online merchant was keeping tabs on his purchases with cookies. You can view the YouTube video here.

Also from Parks and Recreation, the residents of Pawnee were creeped out by the customisation of inducements offered to them by a fictional telecommunications company called Gryzzl, based on their use of the service.

If you have suggestions of other privacy-related comedy clips that we can add to these, let us know in the comments below.

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