learn about and manage privacy risks you take online

NYT: "PrivacyChoice, a company that has analyzed and indexed the data in hundreds of privacy policies across the Web, has developed a system to score Web sites on a scale of 0 to 100 based on how a site collects and uses personal data."


  1. Not sure how reliable this is. Facebook got a privacyscore of 95; they got 10 points for “Deletion requests are honored”. There was a report on German TV the other day about this guy from Austria who requested, via snail mail, all the data that Facebook had on him. The 1000 page document they sent him included posts he “deleted” ages ago. I also remember a post from no more than a couple of weeks ago about uploaded pictures that were “deleted” by the uploader but could still be accessed via a direct link.

    1. FB was the first one I checked, too. The “deletion requests honored” score (10 out of 10) seemed silly, especially in the wake of J. Cheng’s followup on deletion at ArsTechnica (p’bly the “post from no more than a couple of weeks ago” that you’re thinking of). Then again, there’s so many disclaimer’s on the FB rating as to make it worth less: “…does not apply to application, game and company pages”; “…may not reflect all privacy risks associated with sharing your profile…, which is required to use many features of the service”; “Advertisers may be able to infer your profile characteristics when you click on an ad in Facebook.”

      This in contrast to Amazon, which only rated 84%. Really? We’re heavy Amazon shoppers, and have never felt abused (as in spam, CC#, account security, etc.). The 0 out of 10 rating on “deletion requests honored” seems weird; we’ve never seen a hiccup when changing CC and shipping address info; perhaps it applies to customer reviews not being deleted? Wish the FAQ and blog were more descriptive. One thing seems certain; it’s tough to deliver meaningful metrics on “privacy.”

  2. I’m not sure that this scale is useful to me.  In my mind, 100 /100 should be some sort of ideal, e.g. “This site doesn’t gather/retain any information about you.”  even if such a site doesn’t actually exist.  Facebook gets a Green 95/100.  That implies that Facebook is about as private as it gets, when in fact they try very hard not to let you exercise that privacy and make it very easy to forfeit it to the sub-services that they allow in their ecosystem.

    1.  they gave themselves 100 green points…
      So it must be legit…

      That or its a great tool to sell something to someone somewhere for a better score.  Or to groom us to accept that FB is really concerned with our privacy, and the more other sites work like FB the better off we all will be….

  3. I think a lot hinges on how one defines “tracker” as well. Seeing as how a plurality of web pages these days involve request to Facebook domains or CDN accounts, how is Google Analytics considered a tracker but they’re not?

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