“Non-personally identifying information” actually is
Privacy policies divide the information received into two buckets— personally identifying and non-personally identifying. Most sites then have a policy of protecting that first bucket, not selling or renting it out. As for the other bucket, they give themselves free rein to aggregate it, sell it or plain give it away.
What’s surprising is that personal information like IP-address and unique tracking cookies are not placed in that first bucket. Every time you or your wife or kids login to websites on the same machine, they all know who you are. What’s more, most people can be identified by their browser’s unique User-Agent features alone.
Putting a pretty face on handing out your personal information.
We do not share personally identifiable information with our Affiliates or other third-parties for their marketing or promotional uses except as part of a specific program or feature that you have chosen to participate in. For example, we offer coupons on our Sites that require you to fill out an advertiser survey in order to receive the coupon.
Read: “We can share whatever you provide us whenever you touch or interact with our site”
Everyone that’s anybody is using a (third-party) tracking service
Nearly every website in the world is using a third-party tracking service, of which Google Analytics is indisputably the most popular. A rarely discussed loophole in Internet Privacy is that everyone’s online behavior is being gathered across several websites and funneled into these large analytics networks. Does it ever creep you out that Google happily collects massive usage and consumer data from Your website (including paid conversions) and then presents you a slice of it?
Don’t want to read Privacy Policies, but do care about Privacy? We’re here to help
- Remove your personal information with SafeShepherd. We opt you out of the data brokers which end up with your information after these privacy-disrespecting sites leak it out
- Check out Ghostery, which identifies and blocks those third-party trackers
- If you want to go the extra mile, use Tor, anonymousspeech and the new project privly to hide your IP, identity, and content respectively, while still using all the same services that your privacy-ambivalent brethren benefit from
- More reading? Reference: knowprivacy.org — a project which categorized 50 policies and helped a lot with our current project and knowledge