KnowPrivacy Report

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 17, 2009

Joshua Gomez, Travis Pinnick, and Ashkan Soltani, UC Berkeley, School of Information – KnowPrivacy – June 1, 2009

  • “Online privacy and behavioral profiling are of growing concern among both consumers and government officials. In this report, we examine both the data handling practices of popular websites and the concerns of consumers in an effort to identify problematic practices. We conclude by offering potential solutions to realign privacy practices with consumers‘ expectations. The data for this report were pulled from six domains, three regarding actual website practices and three regarding user expectations. We analyzed the policies of the 50 most visited websites to better understand disclosures about the types of data collected about users, how that information is used, and with whom it is shared. We also looked at specific practices such as sharing information with affiliates and third-party tracking. To understand user concerns and knowledge of data collection we looked at surveys and polls conducted by previous privacy researchers. We looked at records of complaints and inquiries filed with privacy watchdog organizations such as the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), The California Office of Privacy Protection (COPP), and TRUSTe. Through several Freedom of Information Act requests, we also received records of complaints directly from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Finally, to gain some insight into what aspects of data collection users are being made aware of, we looked at news articles from three major newspapers for topics related to Internet privacy.”
  • Posted in E-Government, Privacy

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