Usable Privacy Shows You What Privacy Policies Actually Mean, In Plain English

Usable Privacy Shows You What Privacy Policies Actually Mean, in Plain English

Privacy policies are notoriously dense and written in legalese — mostly to protect the company behind them — but Usable Privacy wants to distil them into something you can actually read and understand. Just give the service a URL, and if the privacy policy is available, it will break it down into segments and clean it up so you can read it. Just as an example, we have the Kinja privacy policy above (direct link here if you want to see it) as an example. The policy is laid out in all of its glory, but with colour coding for which sections of the policy deal with different issues, like tracking, disclosure of information to third parties, what information the service collects from you, user choice and control and so on. There's a section for additional sites the policy applies to in addition to the one you're reading, and quicklinks to jump to the sections of the policy you might care about. Though Usable Privacy only includes US-based sites, it also highlights clauses pertaining to 'International and Specific Audiences'.

When you visit for the first time, Usable Privacy will walk you through how it all works, and I found policies available for most major services (and a few smaller ones, which was nice to see). The goal of the service isn't to totally demystify those policies, but make them easier to read, and to help you decide if the tradeoffs for your privacy are worth the features you get in exchange when you sign up. It's worth keeping bookmarked if you're privacy-minded at all, before you sign up for that hot new webapp everyone's talking about, or some startup you've never heard of claiming to "disrupt" some new industry. Hit the link below to try it out.

Usable Privacy [via Consumerist]


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