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On Thursday, the San Francisco-based social gaming company is launching “PrivacyVille,” a new game-like tutorial that rewards users with zPoints, Zynga’s virtual currency, for learning more about the company’s privacy practices.
The timing of the PrivacyVille launch, less than two weeks after Zynga filed documents for a $1 billion initial public offering, is probably no coincidence. Today’s big Internet companies such as Google (s GOOG)and Facebook are constantly criticized for perceived privacy violations, and potential Zynga investors want to be assured that the company is serious about its own data protection. In fact, Zynga’s S-1 mentions the word “privacy” no fewer than 25 times, mostly in relation to the potential risks a privacy breach would have on its valuation. PrivacyVille is a unique –albeit slightly hokey — way for Zynga to show Wall Street that it is taking the issue seriously.
Here are some screenshots of PrivacyVille: