Consumer Tips for Reading Privacy Policies

 

The following are privacy policy features that consumers should watch out for when reading privacy policies of sites they may want to use for consumer transactions:

 

Information Sharing Policy Features to Avoid:

"We share your information with…" (lists third parties).

"By using this website you consent to the usage of your personal information."

"We share your information." (with undisclosed sources).

"We sell or may sell your personal information."

 

Information Transfer Policy Features to watch out for:

"If there is a purchase, transfer or sale of the company’s services or assets, customer information may be one of the transferred assets or sold to the buyer."

"If there is a purchase, transfer or sale of the company’s services or assets, customer information will be one of the transferred assets or sold to the buyer."

 

Confusing Policy Features to Avoid:

The privacy policy is not written in technical or legal language, but contains so many exceptions and circumstances that when you finish you remain unclear as to what will happen to the personal information you submit on the website.

The privacy policy is written in such technical language that you cannot understand its practical meaning, or is so long that you cannot find the part of it that explains what you want to know.

You search for a long time to find a privacy policy; it is in an obscure location on the website.

The website does not have a privacy policy and when you call to inquire about the company’s privacy policy, the representative does not know to what you are referring and cannot tell you how your personal information will be used or protected.

 

PII Control Policy Features to be on the Lookout for:

The privacy policy states that you may see what information is held by the company but says nothing about your ability to change or delete that information.

You may request access the personal information the company has stored, but must pay a fee to obtain the information.

The privacy policy states that by using the website, you are consenting to the collection and storage of your personal information. There is no option given for you to see and/or delete your stored personal information.

There is no mention of what personal information is collected or how a consumer may access or edit it.

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