Data Privacy Misleader Board Calls Out Companies with Most Questionable Means of Collecting and Sharing Personal Info

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Osano, the team and technology behind privacy monitor plugin unearths issues and identifies sites that need a privacy policy overhaul.

Misleader board ranking data privacy practices of popular websites

Data Privacy Misleader Board - March 2019

Like a nutrition label on food packaging, Privacy Monitor helps people make better decisions about the companies they engage with and the data they share.

Osano, a champion for data privacy transparency and the B Corporation behind Privacy Monitor, today published the first Data Privacy Misleader Board, revealing eight websites with privacy issues that should be flagged for users.

As part of the process that informs the Privacy Monitor service, Osano’s team of licensed attorneys has been dissecting the terms and conditions at some of the world’s most popular websites. The rigorous policy review process and resulting reputation scores given to each site are based on more than 150 criteria as well as how the company gathers and utilizes users’ data, where and with whom they share it, how it’s stored and whether they comply with regulations. In a monthly Misleader Board, Osano will share some of the most notable offenses and the companies behind them.

Data Privacy Misleader Board - April 2019

1. Capital One: If you engage with Capital One on any social media - surprise! - you’ve agreed to its data privacy policy. Even if you aren’t a customer, never visited their site and have never seen their terms and conditions, they now have rights to your personal data.

2. NBC News: We challenge you to find something NBCUniversal doesn’t track. Did you start to fill out a form but decide not to submit it? They have that data. They even track your scrolling and keystrokes, what you search for, anything you click on and oh so much more.

3. Go Fund Me: Raising money requires notifying the people you are asking to donate. If you share your contacts with the site, you’ve just indicated that you have personally informed every person in your address book (and that they all consented) as to what Go Fund Me can do with your family and friends’ personal data. Congratulations! You are now liable.

4. Snapchat: Your consent means squat. According to their vague policy, SnapChat may (or may not) get your consent before accessing and using your private information, such as contacts, location and more.

5. UK.gov: An EU government with a hand in creating GDPR to protect the people is itself not compliant with GDPR regulations.

6. Delta: Sure, Delta has a policy, but don’t hold them to it! The airline uses legalese to detail how they will use your data, but then goes on to state that it is not a legal document and creates no obligations for Delta. Did you read that far?

7. AT&T: Have you called that family meeting to discuss your phone company’s terms and conditions? If you have multiple people on your account, AT&T assumes they all gave consent and that the account owner “got everyone together to talk” about how the company collects and uses personal data.

8. Accuweather: The weather app that comes preinstalled on many smartphones understandably tracks your location information, but it may also know your pulse, how lazy you are and how you are sleeping at night. It’s accessing your wearables.

For additional information on why these organizations landed on the Data Privacy Misleader Board visit: https://www.privacymonitor.com/misleader/2019-04-09/.

“Consumers today are required to accept the terms of service for every online account and every connected device they own. They’ve been conditioned to blindly scroll through and accept because they don’t have the time or legal knowledge to translate these convoluted policies,” said Arlo Gilbert, CEO and Founder of Osano. “We want to provide a simple way for web users to know whether the site they are using is safe or if they should proceed with caution. Like a nutrition label on food packaging, it helps people make better decisions about the companies they engage with and the data they share.”

For consumers who want to know the privacy reputation scores of companies they connect with, they can install the Privacy Monitor browser plug-in or download the app and it will automatically reveal the score of every site they visit, helping them decide how to interact and share data (or not). No jargon reading necessary.

About Osano
At Osano, we believe that increasing transparency is for the good of the entire Internet. The web is built on trust, so websites, software vendors and service providers should be held accountable for how they gather, use, share and handle users’ personal data. However, current privacy policies and practices mean that rights and responsibilities are known and understood only by service providers. Founded in 2018 as a B Corporation with a clear mission, Osano’s platform, services and Privacy Monitor tools contribute to the education and transparency that represent the first step toward informing users and protecting data privacy rights.

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Matt Isaacs
The Dialog Lab
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