You want me to read what … The Privacy Policy?

traverselegal - May 30, 2014 - Internet Law

Have you ever taken a moment to read the Privacy Policy of any online website that you have visited or phone app that you have downloaded?  If not, then you should be aware of the personal information you could be allowing these companies to have access to.  It has been reported that many companies post Privacy Policies just as a way to give notice of data collection methods than actually for the keeping of your information private and secure.

But what can you look for if you take the time to actually read a ‘Privacy Policy’, that is if it isn’t so lengthy that you fall asleep before even getting half way through it?!   If you take the time to actually read a Privacy Policy, this is what you may want to look for:

  • – Vagueness!  Several companies use unclear and ambiguous language to protect themselves from consumers filing lawsuits against them should any of the consumers’ personal information be misused.
  • – Open-ended Terms.  Some companies like to use terms like ‘such as’ or ‘including but not limited to’.   This means that even though the company may list what data information that they are collecting from you, the use of these terms means that they could collect other data in addition to those that they have listed.
  • – Policy changes.  With technology growing at an exponential rate, companies like to be able to keep up with such changes and will revise their policy to allow them to possibly encompass the collection of even more data.
  • – No policy at all.  It is not uncommon that many of the apps or games which we download have no privacy policy attached to them at all, but rather ‘permissions’.  Therefore, that permission which you agree to may be requesting that you give the App developer or company consent to access to everything on your phone or computer.

Privacy policies are an important part of the online world. So whether you are a consumer or online company, it is important that you understand privacy policies to know how they work for or against you.  If you have questions or need more information, contact one our experienced privacy policy attorneys.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.