How-To Geek

Why Nobody Reads Web Site Privacy Policies [Infographic]

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

When was the last time you read the entire privacy of a web site you were registering at? Never? You wouldn’t be alone and this infographic examination of privacy policies highlights why.

SelectOut, an ad-tracking opt-out initiative, created their inforgraphic using data culled from the top 1,000 sites on the web. Among their findings: privacy policies average a word count that takes people about ten minutes to read start to finish, contain dozens of links to supplementary documents, and around 12% of them flat out say (in the fine print of course) that they’ll be sharing your information with outside parties.

Hit up the link below to see the full infographic.

The Real Reason Nobody Reads Privacy Policies [Mashable]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/28/11

Comments (9)

  1. Gouthaman Karunakaran

    This is one of the main reasons why I chose a really funny privacy policy for my site —

    BTW, It’s written by Dan Tynan. :)

  2. Hatryst

    Privacy policies are to be EXPERIENCED, not to be read :)

  3. Pyro

    lol @Hatryst

  4. thedaytheearthstoodstill

    It makes no difference if you read them through or not. All the policies I have read, do not allow you to continue if you select the “I do not agree tab”, so what is the point? The only way to get the program or download is to accept the terms. I have only come across one that I clicked the do not agree tab and it still downloaded; but, it didn’t work very well or have security updates, so I got rid of it.

  5. Aardvarkk

    Selectout, the initiative that created the infograph has a great website that lets you opt of of up to 103 tracking cookies.

  6. john3347

    Even if a person is agreeable with the information/policy published in a privacy statement, we have no reliable proof that the stated guidelines are being followed. There are just too many people willing to pay too many other people big bucks to buy buying history, browsing history, and even personal information. I am not so naive that I believe ALL the companies that say your information is safe and confidential, keep your information safe and confidential. Are you that naive?

  7. Kevalin

    One word: Facebook.

  8. Bobro

    well since the DVLA will sell our details and we have to tell them or cant drive, and the election data they collect is sold by the government which we have to give or we cant vote… i think i miss the point of caring just cause its online…

  9. david

    not to mention on some you need a law degree to understand it!

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!