How To Read and Understand a Privacy Policy Fast

How To Read and Understand a Privacy Policy Fast

Virtually every website and app you use requires you to agree to a privacy policy. There is no way for the average person to read all of them thoroughly. You can quickly scan through a privacy policy and still understand it if you know what to look for. If you are confused or concerned about the policy after reading it, you can always contact a lawyer like John Branca for help.

Read the Policy To Protect Your Personal Information

The consequences of skipping the privacy policy and just clicking “I Agree” can range from relatively minor to very serious. You could start getting more spam emails and advertisements from companies to whom you have never willingly given your data. If you give a site payment information, a hacker could steal it and make purchases. Your identity could be stolen, and your credit report could be compromised. This would take a long time to fully correct.

Find Out What the Company Will Do With Your Data

Use the “find in page” function on your browser to look for some important privacy policy concepts. You need to find out how and when a company will store your data, so look for “store,” “control,” “delete” or “retain.” If you do not find anything, search for the noun forms of these verbs (storage, deletion, etc.). Read the section you find to determine what data the company will store and for how long.

If an app lets you select what data you will share, choose the least amount of data possible. Search the privacy policy for words like “share,” “collect,” and “sell.” The policy should be clear about what kind of data the company can collect from you. Even if you do not fill out a form with your address, phone number, etc., an app or site may be able to find that information in your device or browser’s history.

If you find that the company can sell your information, consider how much you really need to use that website or app. The policy may indicate that they will share data with partners or affiliates. You may have no way of knowing who exactly may receive your data. The best privacy policies will be clear that they do not give or sell your information to anyone outside the company.

Check For Regular Updates and Contact Information

Websites and apps may change their privacy policies regularly. Look for the revision date on the policy, which is usually near the top or the bottom of the page. Look for the words “update” or “change.” The policy should be clear about how they will notify you of changes. Avoid using services that can change the policy at any time without letting you know. By federal law, organizations must send you a current privacy policy at least once per year. Ideally, however, a company will send you a letter or email as soon as they make any policy changes. employee monitoring

You should search for the word “contact” on the page as well. At a minimum, there should be general contact information for the company. Preferably, there will be a phone number and email for a specific person or department that you can contact with any questions or concerns.