The question of online privacy is a very hot topic. Many people have an opinion, many companies talk about it - but few really protect your privacy.
When we talk about online privacy and protecting your personal information we are really talking about 4 different things:
The important thing to remember is that everyone is collecting personal information, and most of it is not harmful. Your neighbor knows what time you drive to work or take out the trash. You local car dealer knows about your driving habits and you local grocery store knows what kind of bread you like - everyone knows something about you.
This is great. It is nice that you can say "I need new tires" to your car dealer - and then be assured that you get the right kind because he already knows what you need.
The problem with personal information on computers and especially online is that it allows people to collect much more information than they should - and even worse - combine information for their own advantage. For instance, while it is great that you car dealer knows about your driving habits, you don't really want him to know what kind of food you like, or what person you bought flowers for.
You cannot own parts of other people's life and as such, privacy is a statement where you say "I do know something about you, but I also deeply respect you as a person".
Most Privacy Policies only deals with how your personal information is shared. Most will say "We do not share your personal information with anyone - except our selected partners".
How much personal information do you collect?
What measures you have taken to protect people's personal information.
What level of control you allow people to have over the information you have about them.
How you use people's personal information.
In what way your personal information is shared with external sources.
Companies in Europe are actually legally required to protect people's right to privacy. You will be breaking the law if you have any red or yellow marks. Privacy laws in Asia and US is less severe. Even worse, most privacy laws only apply to companies - not individuals. Personal websites can basically get away with anything
(Note: a company blog is not a personal website)
Also remember that if you do use external services to enhance you site - your level of privacy protection is affected by their actions. You do not respect people's personal information of you share it with people who violate it. It is not a problem to use external partners, if they are as responsible as you are.
While it is important to protect people's rights, it is also important to realize that many things do not invade people's privacy.
A person's privacy can only be violated if the information is used for specific and individual tracking. General website statistics is not a violation of people's privacy, nor is personalization.
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