It explains how the website will protect the privacy of its users by not collecting, keeping, or sharing certain personal information.
It makes the user aware of what kinds of personal information will be collected or asked for from the website, whether it will be shared or not, and -- if it is to be shared -- with whom.
We realize that we just mentioned that many privacy policies are difficult to read because they are lengthy and filled with legal-speak. However, you can make them slightly easier to digest -- and gauge how well they will actually protect your privacy -- by asking a few key questions.
What information does the website require me to provide in order to use it?
Does the website collect any information from me besides what is required to use it?
By merely using the website, am I consenting to the website being able to collect information from me?
What reason or reasons does the website give for collecting or requiring certain types of information from me (e.g. "deliver our services", "improve my experience", etc.)?
Does the website share, sell, or trade any of the information that it collects from me with anyone else?
If the website shares, sells, or trades my information, with whom do they do so? (Their partner services? Advertisers? The government? Law enforcement? Other groups?)
When does the website release my information to anyone else? (Never? When they're required to by law? When they fear that their own -- or someone else's -- well-being is at stake? Whenever they want?)
How long does the website keep any information that it collects from me? (30 days? 90 days? A year? Until I close my account or otherwise request that they get rid of it? As long as they are required to by law? Until they deem that it's no longer useful to them?)
Does the website allow any other groups, besides themselves, to collect information from me while I use their website? If so, what are the privacy policies of these groups?
Anyway, that's a brief introduction to privacy policies!
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