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How to Quickly Get to the Important Truth Inside Any Privacy Policy

The MarkUp: “Privacy policies are horrible. They are too long, impenetrable, and full of legalese that amounts to a take it or leave it offer. But the privacy policy is one of the only places where tech companies have to tell us the truth—the truth about what personal data they are collecting, how they share and profit from that data, and at a deeper level, what sort of trade we’re making when we choose to use their apps or platforms. They follow a predictable structure, meaning you can learn to navigate them, spotting key sections and passages from a safe skimming height, swooping down only to extract the juiciest morsels of information or to leverage an opportunity to opt out of certain collection (or to opt in to deeper, more personalized disclosure). We can teach you how to do that. Drawing from our shared experience—Jon as a reporter who has read hundreds of these documents in the course of his reporting, and Jesse, an intern with us who also happens to be an attorney who has helped write dozens of privacy policies himself—we have some tips we want to share with you about what to look out for. We also asked some privacy experts to weigh in and share their advice with our readers…”

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