Zynga Launches PrivacyVille, a Gamified Version of Its Privacy Policies

As Zynga edges closer to its initial public offering, the social game developer seems concerned with educating the masses both on social game revenue models and on the actual fine print of social game privacy policies. Today, the company announces PrivacyVille, an interactive walkthrough of its privacy policies that rewards participants with zPoints to spend in gift network RewardVille.

The experience can be clicked through in about two minutes, with each structure on the CityVille-like map representing a different component of Zynga’s privacy policy. The tutorial text seems to stress to readers that Zynga will collect players’ information from Facebook and from mobile devices and share it with third-party service providers, the legal system in the case of a court ordered disclosure, and with other players in cases where a player’s icon displays a link back to their Facebook account. Once completed, the tutorial gives participants a quiz on the policies with very easy-to-guess multiple choice answers. Completing the quiz activates the deposit of 200 zPoints into the player’s RewardVille account (enough to buy one of the more expensive decoration items, like the Zynga Zeppelin).

Social and mobile game developers have come under fire for sharing player information with third-parties in the past. In some cases, these were clear-cut violations of Facebook or Apple’s terms of service agreements with developers, and in others, it’s a question of how carefully the developers themselves handled the information through encryption and other methods that render players anonymous if the data is ever hacked. In any case, the point can be argued that most users clicking Accept on a developer’s terms of service don’t actually know 1) where their data is stored and 2) what parties now have the right to view that data.

For those not planning to complete PrivacyVille, Zynga’s data is stored in the United States.

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