written by Taylor Deitrick, Spring Privacy Law Intern
What is a privacy practice?
Meeting in the Middle
Recent lawsuits by state attorneys general indicate that there may be a difference between publicly stated privacy policies and companies' actual privacy practices. Allegations of this kind show an imbalance between transparency and alignment. Such allegations, whether viable or not, can diminish consumers' trust or loyalty to a company. And with media increasing their focus on privacy, awareness of the alleged misalignment is brought to current and potential consumers' attention. Thus, companies are not only worried about the potential of fines, but also about keeping and retaining customers.
Where Can We Start?
Common Sense Media's evaluations of privacy policies consider transparency, not just content. Users are encouraged to review these ratings to understand what companies are publicly saying about their privacy policies/practices. Lawmakers and law enforcement personnel are also encouraged to review these evaluations to see if consumer complaints about a product’s privacy practices are supported by or completely different from their privacy policies. In both cases, consumers will be able to make better decisions when privacy policies and privacy practices are on the same page.