UW Privacy Office

June 13, 2019

We Read 150 Privacy Policies. They Were an Incomprehensible Disaster.

Source: The New York Times, June 12, 2019 (If unable to access via the link below, members of the UW community may be able to gain access via UW Libraries e-Newspapers – see http://guides.lib.uw.edu/research/news/enews)

We Read 150 Privacy Policies. They Were an Incomprehensible Disaster.

Despite efforts like the General Data Protection Regulation to make (privacy) policies more accessible, there seems to be an intractable tradeoff between a policy’s readability and length. Even policies that are shorter and easier to read can be impenetrable, given the amount of background knowledge required to understand how things like cookies and IP addresses play a role in data collection.