What is a reasonable privacy statement?

Here’s my rather personal interpretation of a privacy policy statement. As a source, I used the Daily’s statement. You can find the full text here http://www.thedaily.com/privacy/ . I might be slightly exaggerating, maybe not. Honestly, I don’t know. Just read it.

“When you use the Services, we may collect certain non-personally identifiable information about that use. For example, […], our servers receive and record information about your computer and browser, including potentially your IP address, browser type, and other software or hardware information. […] we may also collect transactional information such as a unique device identifier assigned to that device (“UDID”), your geolocation, or other transactional information for the device in order to serve content to it. We also may use cookies and other tracking technologies […], which are comprised of small bits of data that often include an anonymous unique identifier.”

If you use our services, we will know who you are, where you are, what you do and with whom you do it.

“Third parties […] may also use these technologies […]. We do not control these third-party technologies and their use is governed by the privacy policies of third parties using such technologies. For more information about third-party ad networks that use these technologies, see www.aboutads.info.”

We work together with companies that collect the same information and we don’t care about their ethics. Oh, yeah, apparently we use it for ads mainly.

“Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies, but you can change your settings […] to block cookies altogether. […] Please note that by blocking any or all cookies you may not have access to certain features or personalization available through the Services.”

If you prevent us from earning money with advertisements, we might treat you badly.

“Third Parties. To improve the quality of our services, we may also supplement the information we collect with information we obtain from other users, business partners and other companies.”

We cross-link databases! (Is that legal?!).

“If you access the Services through a third-party connection or log-in, we may also collect your public user ID […] and any information you have made public in connection with that service and which the third party shares with partner services.”

We will spy on you.

“The Services are hosted in the United States. If you are a user located outside the United States, you understand and consent to having any personal information you provide transferred to and processed in the United States.”

We may help the CIA to spy on you.

“The Services may also be linked to websites and other services […]. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of any such third parties, and once you leave our website via a link, enable a third-party service, or click an advertisement, you should check the applicable privacy policy of the third-party site.”

Although we share your data with everyone and everyone shares your data with us, we don’t care what our partners to with this data. You’re on your own, dude!

“We only share your non-public personal information with non-affiliated third parties when we believe sharing is permitted by you or authorized by this Privacy Policy.”

We do what we believe is right.

“The Daily may periodically send promotional materials […]. If you want to stop receiving promotional materials from the Daily, you can follow the unsubscribe instructions […]. There are certain service notification emails that you may not opt-out of […].”

We will push the spam up your….

“We may make your non-public personal information available to […] contractors, agents or sponsors […]. These service providers are required to protect any personal information entrusted to them and not use it for any other purpose than the specific service they are providing to the Services.”

We can use your data for any third-party service we like.

“There may be instances when we may access, preserve and disclose user information without providing notice or choice, if required to do so by law or if based on a good faith belief that such access, preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with the law or legal process; (b) enforce this Agreement; (c) respond to claims that any content or information violates the rights of any third party; (d) respond to your requests for customer or technical service; or (e) protect the rights, property or personal safety of Company, users or any third parties including acting in urgent circumstances.”

…and just in case we haven’t made clear that we don’t really care, let’s repeat once more…

“We may also retain backup information related to your account on our servers for some time after cancellation for fraud detection or to comply with applicable law or our internal security policies.”

Once we got you hooked…

I have to say, the Daily is kind of honest. After all, they do tell you exactly what they might do with your personal information. Unfortunately, most people just don’t read this kind of stuff and are utterly surprised when they discover their data ending up all over the commercial world. If you decide to accept the terms, either with or without reading, it is your own fault. The only question that really bothers me is: can all those companies issuing endless privacy statements reasonably expect from their partly illiterate customers to read all this stuff?!

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