How To Read A Privacy Policy

You should always read the privacy policy. You probably know this. You also know that most privacy policies were written by lawyers, for lawyers. This usually makes them long, complicated and difficult to understand. Here are a few pointers to what you should look for.

Firstly, check that there is a privacy policy. If there isn’t one, don’t give the service or site any of your information. Don’t login using your Facebook or Google account. Just walk away from it.

Bear in mind that, although usually written in dense legalese, privacy policies are not legally binding. They are closer to a promise or commitment than a rule. Privacy policies can be changed at any time. Most services make an attempt to inform customers of these changes in advance.

Bonus round: if you’re unsure of a service’s commitment to keeping your data safe and private, drop them a line. If a customer service agent replies, ask them if them if they have a person dedicated to dealing with the privacy and data protection concerns of their customers. If they don’t, don’t give them your information.

Good Privacy Policies

These are generally few and far between, but they do exist. In order to qualify they should be short, to the point and written in language you don’t need a law degree to understand. If you know of any other good ones, send us an email and let us know.

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