Read the Fine Print

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An article in the Washington Post says many privacy policies may not be all that they seem. Many users assume that when a site promises to never "sell your personal information," it'll be kept private… but often, that just means that the site is renting your information out to third parties, rather than selling it. Even trickier, many e-commerce sites outsource their shopping carts to companies that have privacy policies different from—and far looser than—the main site. Caveat emptor.

NEXT: Turnabout is Foul Play

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  1. I don’t believe this has anything to do with spam, or at least is not entirely about it. Spam is one thing, but divulging who you are and what you have been doing and purchasing is quite another. You may be able to set up a different email account, but how would one – and can one be expected to – set up both an anonymous email address and an anonymous shipping addresses?

  2. Note: that last sentance should have read “You may be able to set up a different email account, but how would one – and can one be expected to – set up both an anonymous credit card and an anonymous shipping address?”

  3. For at least a decade, we’ve been telling people to set up an extra email account for shopping and registrations….

    Here?s another fun idea. If, godforbid, you get some spam advertising a product or service which you are actually interested in, don?t reply to the mail.Use google to find the site. Lowers response rates. Look, horny, barely legal teens are all over the net, why reply to spam?

  4. I agree, Ape. Most of these uwanted effects can be avoided by investing some review time, which a lot of us don’t seem to want to do.

    Quote from Brian Doherty’s article in this month’s reason…”Most Americans don’t really care very much about their privacy. There are plenty of Americans ‘who would give away their life story for a Big Mac,’ observes Sonia Arrison of the Pacific Reasearch Institute.”

  5. Absit omen may the omen be absent – May this not be an omen

  6. Spero nos familiares mansuros – I hope we’ll still be friends

  7. Spero nos familiares mansuros – I hope we’ll still be friends

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