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THE GATEWAY • volume Cl number 44
U of A study examined reading of privacy
policies on smartphones and desktops
4 Convenient Locations to Serve You
IPHONE • CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Privacy policies are often problem¬
atic in llieir construction to liegin
with. According lo jakob Nielsen,
a researcher in web usability, as of
is rated at a 13th grade reading level,
meaning that people with less than a
year of university experience already
find it difficult to understand.
“As far we can tell, privacy policies
are. as a protection mechanism for
people who are using the internet on
smartphones [...] basically completely
useless. They are completely unread¬
able,” Miller said. "In reality, the user
will be getting no real information
when they enter details. They will
have no idea what's really going to
happen to them."
These results, combined with the
rapid increase in popularity of smart¬
phones, suggested to Miller and his
team that a complete revolution in
writing styles is needed to balance
deficits in understanding. However,
this is a slow process. According to
Miller, we are only just starting to see
the emergence of a unique “online"
style of writing that is recogniz¬
ably different from writing for print
"All of the internal ional newspapers
are there now, but if you look at many
sites on the internet, people are still
just copying paper” he said. “That's
not going to work on a web browser,
and it's certainly not going to work on
What this new style would look like
is not entirely clear, but it is some¬
thing that Miller and his team hope to
discover through further research.
"What we've been doing recently
is trying to characterize what the
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: DANMCKKHNIE
differences are between the text that
you see on your printed version of
a newspaper and the text that you
would see on a version of a newspaper
viewed in a browser," he said.
“We're trying to look at and char¬
acterize how the writing style in the
newspaper changes between the two
media, and whether there is dien some
way to extrapolate further down onto
smaller dev ices or whether in reality
it needs a complete shift in thought to
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Council tackles low attendance
Deputy News Editor _
Students' Council moved to deal
with absenteeism among councillors,
tackling what Board of Governors
Representative Craig Turner called “a
serious attendance problem at council.”
In a year when multiple council¬
lors have neglected to attend even half
of council meetings, council passed a
motion amending standing orders to
indicate that, should a councillor be
absent for more than three meetings a
semester, their faculty or campus asso¬
ciation will be notified. Law council¬
lor Leslie Stitt introduced the motion,
explaining that he hoped it would
“What would most likely take place
under this is Students’ Council would
inform the faculty association, and the
faculty association would use good
old-fashioned methods of shame to
make people come to council.” Stilt
said. “Ii is worded In such a way that
we would not be able to remove coun¬
cillors. as I do not think that we have a
right to do that,”
According to Stitt, council lias been
throwing around the idea of address¬
ing apathy for a few years, though
nothing had come of it until now.
He argued that tliis might not tie the
best solution, but it’s better than the
past approach, which Stitt described as
"doing absolutely nothing."
"It's good to send a message to stu¬
dents that we aaually are doing some¬
thing about this, and we're not just
ignoring an issue. We shouldn't lie
accountable to a faculty association,
but we should be accountable to stu¬
dents within that faculty." Stitt said.
“This is something that will mostly
benefit smaller faculty associations that
have one representative, such as medi¬
cine. law. for] native studies. Medicine
hasn’t had any representation here for
four months. Native studies has had
very spotty representation. This is
something that should be addressed.
These faculties deserve to be repre¬
sented on this council and [students]
should know when they aren't."
Tlie Gateway t ried to reach the coun¬
cillors for medicine and native studies
but were unable to get comment by
While most councillors present at
the meeting seemed to agree that poor
attendance was a problem, there was
disagreement on what method was
best to combat it. Some members of
the executive opposed to the motion.
Vice President (Operations and
Finance) Zach Fentiman noted that
there are some faculty associations that
are chaired by their faculty's council¬
lor. which he noted could be the same
undergraduate that is missing council
meetings. Vice President (Student Life)
Rory Tighe said tliat he understood the
“shaming" point of the motion, but
felt that there were other, more effec¬
tive ways of addressing the issue.
Vice President (Academic) James
East ham deals with faculty associa¬
tions as part of the Academic portfo¬
lio. and said that he was apprehensive
about die motion because of how
“functional" some faculty associations
are. Instead, he suggested making it
easier for undergraduates to find out
what their representatives are doing.
"Some faculty associations are
perhaps less functional than even
Students' Council, so it is perhaps
not necessarily going to accomplish
the goals that the councillor wants,”
"Perhaps there'd be a different way
to post attendance instead of having it
buried in minutes, like having it more
prominently displayed on the Students’
Union website or something else."
Despite some expressed opposition,
the motion still passed with most of
council in favour.
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