Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Keeping up to date with privacy policies

A good number of the websites we use have a privacy policy. The supposed function of these is to let us know what those sites are doing with our personal data. If you are a cynic, they're a legal covering exercise so that when they do something with our data, they can point to their privacy policy and say 'you should have read that'. Some of these policies are delightfully vague - warning you that your personal information might be shared with 'third parties' for 'purposes'.

However, these policies often change, keeping up to date can be a hastle - even if you're a full-time researcher on privacy.

A reader-tip on lifehacker today suggested using a third party RSS feed generator to keep track of changes on. That way, any changes to the privacy policy page, should be updated to a suitable feed reader.

Which of course leaves you with the problem of what you're going to do about the changes, given the site likely has a lot of personal data on you, and is probably providing some service or utility.

the suggested feed generator page2RSS is here. I haven't used it, can't vouch for it.

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