Which company has the worst privacy policy on the Internet?

We hear a lot about privacy issues with various online apps and services. But these problems start the moment you sign up and, most likely, ignore the privacy policies. Because if you read them, you’d probably be screaming at your phone or computer.

But nobody does that. The convenience, entertainment, and communication we get from all the things we sign up for trumps most other considerations. And even if you read every privacy policy you came across, you’d probably leave drunk with confusion. That’s because, as quantified by the folks at VPNoverview(Opens in a new window), the privacy policies for the top 50 tech brands are written at a level most people can’t understand. And in some cases, they would take so long to read that you’d need an afternoon off to get through them.

Below, you can see what VPNoverreview determined regarding their privacy policies, looking specifically at overall readability (the lower the score, the harder to read) as well as the overall reading time required. This chart only covers the worst offenders. (Find a fully interactive chart and access the data list at VPN Overview(Opens in a new window).)

Of course, even this graph is difficult to interpret, so the infographic below breaks down the 20 privacy policies it found to be the worst, including Disney+, Instagram and betting app Coral.

VPN Overview - Visualize the Length of Privacy Policies (Top 20)

Among the offenses uncovered: Coral says it will keep your data for seven years, even if you close your account. Instagram is happy to send all of your search and location history to third parties. And Disney not only shares data, it also has the most impossible to parse privacy policy in the tech world — albeit a short one. (The shortest policy is actually from Wayfair, with a read time of 2.2 minutes; the longest is from online marketplace Vinted, at a staggering 138 minutes.)

Other vendors in the top 20 with bad privacy policies include big names like Zoom, Wikipedia, Uber Eats, Netflix, Microsoft, Slack, Spotify, Nintendo, and Yahoo.

Recommended by our editors

The full report says people should read privacy policies and has advice on how to do this. At the very least, you should read our list of “worst privacy policy terms to watch out for.” For example, if the policy says “government access to user data,” you can bet the feds have all your information, and that can be pretty extensive if your country is part of a sharing agreement with other countries(Opens in a new window). And any policy that says the service has access to your IP address probably means it knows exactly where you are. Do you collect your biometric identifiers? This is a no-no that many apps do anyway. The list goes on.

No one really expects any vendor to change their privacy policy for the benefit of users, but the one thing that services can and should do is improve the clarity of their written policies. Even though policies are legal documents, they don’t have to be overly long and over-written in legalese to work.

PCMag logo 4 Easy Things You Can Do to Be Safer Online — Clarification Please
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