What Privacy Policies SHOULD Be

Today I reviewed (scanned really) about 15 Privacy Policies on a variety of Web Sites.  Some were from big established companies, and some (most) were from newly-formed startups.

What I found is a bit disappointing – it appears many companies are now confusing Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Simply put, the Privacy Policy statement should be what the site is promising their customers (visitors).  It should state how they will AND WILL not use your data.  How they protect you and your data.  What they offer their customers.

The Terms of Use is where you put the rules users are expected to follow – what you expect of your guests.  Do not confuse the two.  If you do, you will confuse your customers.

I’m working on obtaining a new domain name where people can easily go and check the Privacy Policies and/or Terms of Use policies for web sites – so they can quickly visualize what rights they are giving away, or what sites don’t put their customer’s best interests in writing. 

I imagine it will take me a while to accomplish this because I need to build a new site from scratch, with little financial benefit or incentive – and keeping it up to date will be extremely difficult.  Actually, pre Web 2.0 it would have been.  But aq site that allows users to basically vote sites up or down on social and terms of use aspects is more what I have in mind – someplace someone can go to wither quickly check a new site, or share their opinion on it.

This should be an Open Source project – and it is my intention that it will be. 

This is another project on a long list of projects, but it’s an important one.