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The First Truly Honest Privacy Policy

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  • From the Article: (Score:4, Informative)

    by DWMorse (1816016) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:51PM (#34503584) Homepage
    (Great summary.)

    "At COMPANY _______ we value your privacy a great deal. Almost as much as we value the ability to take the data you give us and slice, dice, julienne, mash, puree and serve it to our business partners, which may include third-party advertising networks, data brokers, networks of affiliate sites, parent companies, subsidiaries, and other entities, none of which we’ll bother to list here because they can change from week to week and, besides, we know you’re not really paying attention.

    We’ll also share all of this information with the government. We’re just suckers for guys with crew cuts carrying subpoenas.

    Remember, when you visit our Web site, our Web site is also visiting you. And we’ve brought a dozen or more friends with us, depending on how many ad networks and third-party data services we use. We’re not going to tell which ones, though you could probably figure this out by carefully watching the different URLs that flash across the bottom of your browser as each page loads or when you mouse over various bits. It’s not like you’ve got better things to do.

    Each of these sites may leave behind a little gift known as a cookie -- a text file filled with inscrutable gibberish that allows various computers around the globe to identify you, including your preferences, browser settings, which parts of the site you visited, which ads you clicked on, and whether you actually purchased something.

    Those same cookies may let our advertising and data broker partners track you across every other site you visit, then dump all of your information into a huge database attached to a unique ID number, which they may sell ad infinitum without ever notifying you or asking for permission.

    Also: We collect your IP address, which might change every time you log on but probably doesn’t. At the very least, your IP address tells us the name of your ISP and the city where you live; with a legal court order, it can also give us your name and billing address (see guys with crew cuts and subpoenas, above).

    Besides your IP, we record some specifics about your operating system and browser. Amazingly, this information (known as your user agent string) can be enough to narrow you down to one of a few hundred people on the Webbernets, all by its lonesome. Isn’t technology wonderful?

    The data we collect is strictly anonymous, unless you’ve been kind enough to give us your name, email address, or other identifying information. And even if you have been that kind, we promise we won’t sell that information to anyone else, unless of course our impossibly obtuse privacy policy says otherwise and/or we change our minds tomorrow.

    We store this information an indefinite amount of time for reasons even we don’t fully understand. And when we do eventually get around to deleting it, you can bet it’s still kicking around on some network backup drives in somebody’s closet. So once we have it, there’s really no getting it back. Hell, we can’t even find our keys half the time -- how do you expect us to keep track of this stuff?

    Not to worry, though, because we use the very bestest security measures to protect your data against hackers and identity thieves, though no one has actually ever bothered to verify this. You’ll pretty much just have to take our word for it.

    So just to recap: Your information is extremely valuable to us. Our business model would totally collapse without it. No IPO, no stock options; all those 80-hour weeks and bupkis to show for it. So we’ll do our very best to use it in as many potentially profitable ways as we can conjure, over and over, while attempting to convince you there’s nothing to worry about.

    (Hey, Did somebody hold a gun to your head and force you to visit this site? No, they did not. Did you run into a pay wall on the home page demanding y

    • by boristdog (133725) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:55PM (#34503658)

      I prefer:

      Our privacy policy: We sell your data. You get our content for "free." Deal?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Works for me. Radio is free. TV is free.
        I want my Yahoo, Hulu, and Facebook free too.
        Deal.

        This post sponsored by:
        ADFREE MUSIC:
        radiotime.com/station/s_52398/Mix_2_1065.aspx

        • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:14PM (#34504962) Journal

          Radio is free. TV is free.

          You pay for those with your attention. You pay for internet content with your attention and your identity and a record of your online behavior and the identities of your friends and maybe some information on your hard drive and you give the internet a shot at pwning your computer or taking all the stuff you own in your name.

          Radio is free. TV is free. The Internet is savage.

          • While I ripped blair one in another post, I gotta agree here.

            Advertising viewership is one thing.

            Collecting, organizing, cataloguing, storing and disseminating every scrap of personal information possible on your habits, schedule and just about anything else, is entirely something else.

            People accept it because it is invisible and they are too complacent to disagree.

            However, the government has become nearly as insidious, with mass domestic wiretapping and security schemes that do little to add to the overall

      • by zero_out (1705074)

        I prefer:

        Our privacy policy: We sell your data. You get our content for "free." Deal?

        But WHAT data? You can't possibly identify me on the internet. It's anonymous! I can give your partner my email address, but that doesn't mean they can charge my credit card unless I give it to them. Wait, they're charging my CC!!! I didn't say you could give THAT to them!!!

      • by GreatAntibob (1549139) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:05PM (#34503834)

        I prefer:

        Our privacy policy: We sell your data. You get our content for "free." Deal?

        Correction: You get access to our content for "free". We will sue you, your family, and all your friends and neighbors to the 9th level of Hell should you choose to infringe on our intellectual property.

        • by Toe, The (545098) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:25PM (#34504166)

          I prefer:

          Our privacy policy: We sell your data. You get our content for "free." Deal?

          Correction: You get access to our content for "free". We will sue you, your family, and all your friends and neighbors to the 9th level of Hell should you choose to infringe on our intellectual property.

          ...which now includes your data.

      • The meaning of "your data" needs to be more clear. It should say something like "everything you see on our website may be sold to someone, including the things you put on our website".
      • by gklinger (571901) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:31PM (#34504244)
        "If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold." - blue_beetle (quotation taken from here [metafilter.com])
        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          Bingo.

          See Google.

          (For the record, I don't think it's a bad thing, just something people need to understand.)

          • What if people are statistically incapable of understanding it? Does it become a bad thing, given that it is *certain* that a majority of people don't understand?
      • Re:From the Article: (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KevMar (471257) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:36PM (#34504358) Homepage Journal

        Our privacy policy:
        You have no expectation of privacy. We will collect any and all information you or your computer is willing to give us and do whatever we want with that information. Use of this site is entirely optional. Use at your own risk.

        • Our privacy policy:

          Is that for real? As a technologically educated user of the internet, I think I would certainly appreciate a privacy policy worded exactly like that.

          I might not agree with the policy, but it offers no ambiguity about the level of privacy protection your website offers.

          • by Kunedog (1033226)
            I've always been impressed with NearlyFreeSpeech.Net's (they sell hosting/domains) privacy policy: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/about/privacy [nearlyfreespeech.net] Check it out if you want an example of one that's serious about earning your trust, not just tricking you. It's clearly written with very little legalese or boilerplate cut&paste.
      • Now let's have some analysis of how many ways this data gets abused, but really abused. Like screening employees based on browsing habits, tracking opposition groups and members, what the hell can *really* be done with this stuff, and how easy/how much is it to gain access to the data you want.
    • Small change to this: We store this information an indefinite amount of time for reasons even we don’t fully understand.

      I would say this instead, which is probably closer to the truth: "We store this information an indefinite amount of time because, well, disk space is cheap."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's brilliant. My only complaint is the cringe-inducing comment in TFA where he says that he's "open sourcing" this privacy policy. Really? So, where do I download the source code?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's brilliant. My only complaint is the cringe-inducing comment in TFA where he says that he's "open sourcing" this privacy policy. Really? So, where do I download the source code?

        Right Click -> View Source

    • by mysidia (191772)

      "At COMPANY _______ we value your privacy a great deal." and we are happy to have you trade it to us for free services

      That's why we are taking it from you. By visiting our website, you agree to share complete accurate information on all signup, profile, comments, and other forms on our web site. And you agree we can store all data collected forever, and share, license, or sell it to anyone we want.

  • Just how legally binding are privacy policies in the first place? I've taken the time to specifically look for privacy policies on many sites, only to discover that they either don't have one or have one that is completely inscrutable by anyone not a lawyer. What are they designed to do in the first place? Protect the user? Protect the owner of the website from legal action from a user? Does anyone ever actually read a privacy policy?
    • Does anyone ever actually read a privacy policy?

      It depends. Generally if something has a check box that says "I have agreed to the Terms and Conditions listed here" or "I have read and confirm the privacy policy located here" then I usually go and read them to make sure I know what I'm dealing with. I have actually re-read the Steam User Agreement like 5 times now keeping an eye out for any changes, because while I trust Valve to play nice, I don't want to be one of the naive guys who just assumed the policy stayed the same week after week and ended up a

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Meh checkboxes aren't binding in a lot of places. And are on par with shrink-wrap EULA's, in Canada the privacy act states that anything that's personally identifiable that a company collects, the customer or consumer must be clearly informed, that the company is collecting it and for what purposes. And if their policy is changing, the company must get written permission explicitly stating what they're changing and why.

        Even a business relationship with a customer is not enough of a reason to violate a cust

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Some sites do things like put terms and conditions or privacy policies in a frame, so it is easy to block the content. Then when the site says do you agree to this empty space you can honestly say "yes", rather than "I'm no lawyer, there's no way I can grasp that shit. I just want to use this site, so I'll say yes when I know I mean no".

          I actually had a conversation with a contract law barrister about the kind of BS sites pull when it comes to making sure they win every time. When I said that there is basic

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          They are legally binding so long as what is being promised is legally enforceable. One clause being unenforceable does not negate the whole agreement.

          Think of it as a verbal contract with proof.

          Verbal contracts are legally binding, but don't carry quite the same weight as a formally written and signed contract.

        • by asdf7890 (1518587)

          But if I have any legal problems, they're required to come to Canada in order for any disputes, according to the law of my land. Especially if they want to keep doing business here.

          That might hold water if they chose to raise a dispute with you. The problem there is if *you* have something you want to dispute with *them* (like them selling your info when their own contract said they wouldn't) they would most likely say they aren't coming and offer you a venue in their land instead. Whether you are in the right or not won't make much difference across borders unless you can afford some pretty hot legal support or have available avenues of political influence.

    • Policies are never legally binding. Only laws are legally binding. Policies are in place so that, in the event of a lawsuit, a company can claim due diligence. So, they protect the company primarily. Some policies may also protect the user as a side effect, but primarily they protect the company.
      • by houghi (78078)

        And that will differ from country to country.

      • by blueg3 (192743)

        Contracts are legally binding.

        • by Bucky24 (1943328)
          You know, I always wondered: is that a blanket statement? If you sign a contract, is it legally binding no matter what is inside it?

          For example is it possible to have someone sign a contract telling them that if they don't make a house payment they lose their citizenship, would that hold up in a court of law?

          Everyone treats the contract as this magical piece of paper that makes any action legal as long as it's signed properly, but I don't think that's so.
          • No.

            Last I recall my contract law class, the elements of a contract are
            Offer
            Acceptance
            Consideration
            Capacity (mental) to enter a contract
            and - Legality of the Contract.

            You can't enter a "Valid" contract for something illegal.
            That's why you see the clause that says if somehow one clause winds up illegal it doesn't squash the entire rest of the terms.

          • by blueg3 (192743)

            Absolutely not. There are lots of things that you are unable to agree to in contracts. For starters, you are extremely limited in your ability to sign away fundamental rights. On top of that, laws apply lots of additional, more situational, restrictions on particular sorts of contracts. For example, my state places a lot of restrictions on the contract between the landlord of a residential property and the tenant. (It also asserts that there are certain terms to a rental agreement, even if they're not state

        • Contracts are only legally binding because there are laws that make them so.
          • by blueg3 (192743)

            By that unconstructive measure, laws aren't legally binding, either. The only thing that's legally binding is what the executive chooses to enforce.

            Also, in common law countries, there are not actually laws that make contracts legally binding.

      • by bk2204 (310841)

        Generally, policies end up being legally binding. Companies that have had certain non-discrimination policies (say, on the basis of sexual orientation) but ended up violating them have been successfully sued. Basically, if you end up doing anything in reliance on a company policy, it's legally binding.

        That, of course, is why most privacy policies are extremely vague and one-sided.

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          Policies that are legally binding are generally backed up by laws that are legally binding, making the policy really mean "we are following the applicable laws". That's it.

          For example, if a company were to have a policy that states they will never, ever hire homosexuals and every employee was required to sign a statement that they accepted and would follow that policy - it wouldn't stand up in court for 30 seconds no matter what happened. Violating that policy would have zero impact.

          Having a privacy polic

    • by lwsimon (724555)

      Google Adsense requires them; therefore their primary purpose it to fulfill that requirement.

  • This must be pretty fresh, as it shows 0 tweets related to it so far ... oh, wait. It's already 3 days old.
    • by zoefff (61970)

      That means that nobody really bothers about privacy policies enough to tweet about, even this one...

  • What could be more honest than, "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."?

    Sun CEO Scott McNealy [wired.com]

    • What could be more ignorant? Clearly Zuckerberg and McNealy are both willing to sell out the principles upon which this country was founded, and give a middle finger to all the people who have died and will die to protect our rights, in pursuit of profits. I guess it is no big surprise that Sun tanked with him at the helm. I can only hope that Zuckerberg suffers a similar fate, but alas that seems unlikely, since people actually listen to these power hungry fools and believe they posses some kind of insi
      • by Fwipp (1473271)

        What about Zuckerberg's and McNealy's rights to tell people the things you freely told them? I don't think "freedom from gossip" is in our constitution.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:57PM (#34503704)
    "We exploit any and all data we can get from you while you visit our website. You have no privacy with us. Even things you didn't think we could find out, we can. Thanks for your understanding."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I realize this is meant as a joke, but there are some (usually quite small) companies that actually *do* have honest privacy policies.

    For example, this one. [imo.im]
    • by Quirkz (1206400)
      Absolutely. I've put privacy policies on web sites that are sometimes as simple as "We don't share your information with anyone." In those cases it was honest, true, and actually acceptable. As opposed to this honest but reprehensible (albeit pretty typical) one.
      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        We don't share your information with anyone

        I applaud your intentions, but what do you do if a court orders you to disclose information about one of your users? IANAL, but it seems you have a choice between violating the law and violating your own privacy policy -- you've got a big problem either way. All of those clauses and conditions in those long privacy policies serve a purpose, and they need to be there even when the company operating the website does respect the privacy of the site's users.

        • by wierd_w (1375923)

          One could argue that by legally entering a privacy contract with the end user, that they are legally unable to comply with the subpoena. Kinda like a catholic priest refusing to give testimony over a confession he has heard.

          The government is unlikely to want to play nice with that arrangement, but that is where the PR machine initiates retaliatory strikes.

          • by cdrguru (88047)

            Sorry, it won't fly.

            The most basic point is a contract cannot circumvent law. So you can have a contract that says you don't have to comply with a subpoena but the contract is unenforcible and has no applicabily on your relationship with law enforcement, only with your customer. Law enforcement isn't a party to the contract either, so they don't care.

            The relationship between a priest and confessor is legally recognized. While it might be nice to have that sort of relationship recognized between web site

          • One could argue that by legally entering a privacy contract with the end user, that they are legally unable to comply with the subpoena. Kinda like a catholic priest refusing to give testimony over a confession he has heard.

            No, one could not say that. One would be in violation of contempt of court and possibly an accessory to the crime.

            The law states that a subpoena overrules ALL other private agreements. The ONLY exception is medical, legal (lawyers) and religious privacy, and those can often be stretched pretty thin by an aggressive prosecutor.

        • by Quirkz (1206400)
          I'm pretty sure being required to present information in court couldn't reasonably be considered a violation of a privacy policy. And that's not a tough choice, it's 100% obvious that the court wins. A majority of the clauses and conditions are in there to protect the sites that do buy/sell/trade user information. I'm not a lawyer either, but until one tells me otherwise, I still maintain you don't need anything else if you don't let that information go to anyone else.
          • by Bill Dimm (463823)

            couldn't reasonably be considered a violation of a privacy policy

            But, could it legally be considered a violation (i.e., could your user successfully sue you for disclosing the info)? You can argue in court that a contract cannot force you to do something illegal (ignore court order to disclose info), but can you convince the court that you shouldn't be liable for the damages to the user caused by that disclosure? Essentially, your privacy policy is false advertising, and the user can claim that he wouldn't have used your site (and hence become damaged by the disclosure

            • by Quirkz (1206400)
              Hell if I know. But I don't really consider government confiscation of information to be disclosure. I don't think they're on the same level at all. I also don't think an attacker is a "user" who would be covered by a policy like that. I'd like to see someone in either case try to object. In the first they'd be objecting to my complying with a court order, and in the second they'd be admitting to attacking my site.

              I feel like this is way outside the realm of what normal privacy concerns for normal users i

      • by houghi (78078)

        Well, many sites tell they do not share the information and then you read that again a site is hacked and all the information was available.

      • "Look, I haven't even updated my resume in five years; you think I'm going to bother doing anything with your data?"

  • Hell, it's honest and gives people an idea about how the world really works.

    I love it.

    the language needs a little cleaning up, but I'll be putting it on my site later on.
    • by lwsimon (724555)

      Me too. I need to check to make sure it fulfills the requirements for Adsense, but I suspect it does. I'll enable comments on the page, too - it might even draw some hits.

  • Most of that is pretty damned funny, but I thought that this was just silly:

    We’ll also share all of this information with the government. We’re just suckers for guys with crew cuts carrying subpoenas.

    Um, if any company is going to refuse a government subpoena, then they'd better have a very damned good legal reason to do so. Few companies are interested in going to court themselves and spending boatloads to protect a user.

  • A nice little idea. If actually put to use.

    How about a no-privacy-policy world?
    It then should be obvious and/or taken for granted that "We will do whatever the dickens we feel like with your data."

    Sites that decide to stick to some rules with regard to protecting privacy can sit down and spend some time drawing up a sketch of a privacy policy. "We will never do such-and-such with your data." etc.

    Problem solved. facebook will have no policy while slashdot would have at least a couple of lines. Wikileaks

  • by russotto (537200) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:05PM (#34503840) Journal

    All your data are belong to us!

    Just as accurate, easier to understand, and shorter.

  • by ryanisflyboy (202507) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:13PM (#34503954) Homepage Journal

    I didn't bother reading the article. I'm simply posting an emotional response based solely on the probably inaccurate summary. I don't really care about privacy policies because I'm use to getting tracked all the time. Security cameras watch me drive to work, my badge records when I enter the door, cameras watch me inside the building, my credit card leaves a trail everywhere I buy something... and I don't really care. So go ahead and track what you want and sell the data to whoever. The hundreds of spam messages I get a day proves that there is no hope of ever retrieving any of my privacy. If you start asking for money to visit this site I'll probably pay for it because I tend to develop habits that make me comfortable. I don't like those habits being interrupted.

    I'm now going to hit submit without doing a preview because I could really care less about the quality of this post.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      I'm now going to hit submit without doing a preview because I could really care less about the quality of this post.

      It lets you do that? I -have- no submit button, just a preview... I WANT my submit button back.... what's the option I need to use to get this to work...

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        That's because you are using the quick edit feature. You can change your preferences to switch to the full edit style, which has both a submit and a preview button. The disadvantage, of course, is that it takes you to a separate page for your comment.

        You can't do nearly the volume of inane posts on a slow connection with the full edit as you can with the quick edit.

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          Reply, not edit.

          My bad.

          Preview couldn't help me with that little brain fart!

        • by vux984 (928602)

          Thanks for the assist.

          I couldn't find a preference for "quick edit", but I did futz around with the preferences for a while, and hurrah, I did change something or other to "classic" and its working like it used to! It wasn't in the posting preferences where I had looked previously for an option on multiple occasions... it was somewhere in the layout prefs or something.

          You can't do nearly the volume of inane posts on a slow connection with the full edit as you can with the quick edit.

          I have a fast connection

      • by he-sk (103163)

        It's really simple:

        1. Click preview.
        2. Click submit without reviewing your text.
        3. Profit.

  • Cute (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:17PM (#34504036) Homepage Journal
    Well, the proposed privacy policy is funny and gives the author a nice little medium through which to rant, but it doesn't really do anything to increase privacy on the internet does it? This privacy has a snowball's chance in hell of actually being adopted by anyone with a legitimate web-business. It's a great joke, but this is hardly a YRO story. It's pretty idle.
    • by lwsimon (724555)

      Define "legitimate"?

      I have a web business that is currently drawing about 1,000 visitors / day across all my sites, and I plan to adopt it. Is that "legitimate"?

  • Crewcuts don't make them bad guys, and warrants don't make them good guys. Big Brother (yours, mine or ours) is "sharing" in vast amounts of data without warrants. Now is the time for your tears...
  • Sure, who wants their information sold? Who wants to be tracked? Problem is, things like cookies and recording contact information and so on is pretty critical to the operation of any site that attempts to be interactive with you as a human being. Without these, so much of the functionality people have come to expect would be either very expensive or entirely infeasible. This is why I donated to Diaspora. If you want the functionality AND the privacy, you MUST shoulder some of the expense and burden in
    • by Kocureq (1191079)
      I want my information sold, as I get some service from the company selling my data in exchange. I prefer to pay with my information than with my money. I work hard to get my money. I just live by to get the information - it's being created no matter what I do. To get money, I have to do specific things in specific time, sometimes in a specific location, which doesn't have to be my preferred way of spending time. It's way easier to create information than money.
  • Is it legally binding?

  • Whine Whine Whine Bitch Bitch Bitch.

    Or, alternatively, toggle off cookies by default, install noscript and https-everywhere. Look at what Google lets you opt out of and, y'know, opt out. If you're feeling *really* paranoid, set up an alternate profile for any online persona that you don't want tracked backwards to you.

    If you have a genuine concern about some evercookie tracking you unethically after you've done that, I'll grant that it's legit. Tracking via IP addresses should of course be limited to things

    • "pities sake" ... "for the love of Pete"?

      lemme guess, you're over 35 and live in the midwest of the US. Probably Minnesota or Wisconsin, likely not in a large city (or you recently moved from one of those places).

      You certainly grew up there.

      No, I didn't steal this information from your cookies. :-P

      • by pugugly (152978)

        OHMIGODOHMIGODOHMIGODOHMIGOD

        You mean people can figure out things about me based on . . . stuff I *DO*!?!?!?!?!

        YOU'RE FROM THE NSA AREN'T YOU!!!!!!!!!

        AUGH!!!

        Oh - wait - if they have that much wrong, I'm probably okay . . . unless . . . it's a double bluff?!?!!?!

        AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!

        {G} - Pug

  • What's so hard? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:42PM (#34504476)

    Here's my privacy policy [aardvark.co.nz].

    (to save you clicking the link)...
    "The Aardvark Privacy Policy

    To put it bluntly -- any information you submit through this site
    is held in total confidence unless otherwise stated.

    Aardvark has built a strong reputation for protecting the information submitted
    and collected. I have a total anti-spam, anti UCE policy -- never, never, never
    will your email address be made available to any third party without your
    expressed permission and never, never, never will I send you unsolicited
    email.

    That's it ... plain and simple -- Your secrets are safe with me!

    What's more -- Aardvark doesn't routinely collect information from its
    users. Apart from the Google Ads, this site is a cookie-free zone --
    I probably know nothing at all about you anyway!

    Here's a whole bunch of stuff about Google's cookie and privacy policy that
    You might find interesting and which I'm supposed to include in this
    privacy statement as part of my position as an AdSense user

    If you've got a problem or a query about this then contact me, you can even do it
    anonymously but in that case don't expect a reply (how could I?). "

    It's short, to the point and covers all the bases, doesn't it?

    What's so hard about coming up with a concise, no-nonsense privacy policy?

    • What's so hard about coming up with a concise, no-nonsense privacy policy?

      Getting sued for violating the policy.

      never, never, never will your email address be made available to any third party without your expressed permission

      If someone breaks into your site and distributes subscriber email addresses you will be liable.

      That's it ... plain and simple -- Your secrets are safe with me!

      Again, if you fail to protect the subscribers' secrets you could be held liable.

    • by MrHim (703476)

      What's more -- Aardvark doesn't routinely collect information from its users. Apart from the Google Ads, this site is a cookie-free zone -- I probably know nothing at all about you anyway!

      I went to your site and Firefox prompted me to accept the following cookie:
      name: font_size
      content: 0
      path: /
      domain: aardvark.co.nz
      Expires: End Of Session

      Not a big deal, really, but it doesn't match up with your policy.

    • Sweet! May I copy parts of it? (Seriously.)
  • Reading this is kinda funny, even though I know it applies to a lot of sites now. Perhaps even almost all.
    I know that a lot of people don't ever read the privacy policies though, or EULAs and etc.

    I remember an article at Humorix (linux-related joke site) with a EULA that resembles this privacy policy. it had a clause in it that said something like:

    By accepting this agreement you hereby agree to forfeit your firstborn son and/or soul to us..

    Seriously though. Perhaps an honest privacy policy like this will let people realize just what they're getting themselves into every time they visit a random

  • http://www.rsync.net/resources/notices/tos.html [rsync.net]

    I especially like:

    "No form of data or meta-data concerning the behavior of our customers or the contents of their filesystems, or
    even the customer data that we hold in our records for billing, will ever be divulged to any law enforcement
    officer or agency without order served directly by a US court having jurisdiction. "

    and:

    "No consumer or personal information about our customers of any kind will be divulged to any party for any reason."

  • by karl.auerbach (157250) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:25PM (#34505104) Homepage

    There are other, and much older, honest privacy policies out there.

    For instance, here's my privacy policy, which I believe is entirely hones, adopted by several others, and has been on my website for well more than a decade:
    http://www.cavebear.com/privacy-policy.html

  • "This product is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. List each check separately by bank number. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Postage will be paid by addressee. Subject to CAB approval. This is not an offer to sell securities. Apply only

  • "I am hereby open sourcing this privacy policy."

    How can anyone "open source" plain text? There is no source and no compiled result. There is nothing you can "close", so it can be "opened" neither.

    BTW Why people always say about "open sourcing" and not "opening source"? It really confuses me as non-native English speaker.

  • Even better is a privacy policy that goes beyond honesty and understandability to:

    - Actually value and promote privacy as a central goal of the service provided by the site
    - Detail potential caveats with different options or approaches
    - Specifically detail what information is shared with whom and for what purpose
    - Link to "competing" services with similar policies

    http://duckduckgo.com/privacy.html [duckduckgo.com]

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.

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