The has developed to address this very issue. TOSBack monitors the privacy policies of various websites and publishes the changes made to those policies. Something like this would be very helpful if incorporated into the privacy label itself to allow the consumer to see a policy change when revisiting a particular website. This of course would not help a consumer who uses a website for a one-time purchase and never returns but it is a start.
A larger problem with the privacy label project in general is with its adoption. A project such as this is only as useful as the size of its implemented base. Moreover, companies must agree on how to implement it. It would defeat the purpose to have different companies presenting their privacy labels differently, such as using different colors or symbols for privacy statuses. Such inconsistencies would only further complicate and confuse the consumer. Maybe this is a case where government regulation would be helpful. A regulatory agency such as the Federal Trade Commission could ensure that the use of such labels were widespread as well as preventing the proliferation of dissimilar privacy labels.
Overall the authors’ project is a noble one and one that I think whose time has come. Consumers deserve to understand the policies surrounding the data collected about them without having to struggle through pages and pages and legalese. The keys to the project’s success are adoption and standardization, without which the project is simply a great idea.