Back to the future, but way too fast

One way to surprise your users (in a bad way) is to pre-date content and hang up your "out of office for the rest of the year" sign.

Kristina Podnar
December 18, 2019

2020 is coming at us faster than we can all appreciate. I am still feeling stuffed from Thanksgiving turkey and feeling like it was 18 months ago that we dealt with the Y2K issue. Not only is a new year upon us, but a new decade is about 11 days away. Excuse my freak out session; I am feeling a bit overly sensitive. It seems that wherever I look (ok, two places so far), the digital teams have made changes to their websites and hung up the "out of the office for a holiday" sign.

You see, first thing this morning, I was curious about the privacy terms for Dove soap. Upon heading to the Unilever policy (yes, the entire holding company of various brands has a single privacy statement), I found that it is effective January 1, 2020. I'm a geek at heart, so I immediately started to wonder what will govern by data collection between now and then. Yeah, I asked @unileverusa via Twitter, but never got a reply. Hopefully, they are not doing anything crazy. If they are, I'd love to see how that would play out with regulators and courts.

As a policy geek, I sulked for a bit after seeing the above date in the Unilever Privacy Policy. I decided to listen to catch up on the dialing news via SiriusXM. Unfortunately, a crazy error greeted me on my iPhone app. The SiriusXM digital team also ran out of things to do before the holidays, so they got a jump on updating their year stamp in the first part of December.

Look, I am all in favor of updating your dates in digital channels as we get to the new year. It is a pet peeve of mine not to have copyright dates reflect the current year in the footer of many websites. But jumping the gun can annoy users. It can also create legal issues. So my advice is to be reasonable and update those dates at the very end of December. You can always put your CMS to good use and have it auto-update dates on your website as the calendar year turns.

This digital policy geek (and other users) will thank you!

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