Privacy - 5 - Privacy Policies And You
Protect consumer’s interests and in a digital world, their data and identity form mis-use.
Protect companies from consumers suing them - written by a lawyer for a lawyer.
This begs the question - if not every user of this service is college educated or studying in a college (which is a fair assumption), then do these users know what they are agreeing to even if they read it ? Who is going to help them understand it ?
Example of hidden/shadow data sorcery
Facebook and Google are the Sarumans when it comes to using this shadow sorcery.
Remember the last creepy ad you saw ? - welcome to the party.
For e.g. if you are on Facebook, you could go to this link to see which advertising companies your data is being shared with, “advertisers you’ve interacted with”.
Quoting this excellent article -
"Not even the marketing people and data scientists completely understand how the algorithmic distribution of their content works."
What can be done ?
We have to be optimistic towards how the privacy policies can be made more accessible. For e.g. one suggestion from the nytimes article shared above is -
"Something as simple as a list of companies that might purchase and use your personal information could go a long way towards setting a new bar for privacy-conscious behavior."
I, for one, have started reading the privacy policies, at least a cursory glance for super vague words which might give me an idea about weighing the use of the service vs an alternative.
New York Times Privacy Project - https://twitter.com/privacyproject
Fun link - https://hub.lexile.com/analyzer - analyze how hard it is to read something :)