Websites Policies Pay Attention The Consequences Can Be Harsh

Beware Of The Fine Print

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Company Policy, Privacy Agreements

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, January 22, 2014, carried an article on bringing your own device to work (BYOD). We are totally connected to our work. When we use company electronics we leave them behind when we leave the job. Some companies are allowing employees to use their own devices for work. In order to protect customers and information companies are remotely wiping clean the electronic devices when employees change jobs. The gentleman in the article, Michael Irvin said,"He never received a copy of the company's BYOD policy." Mr Irvin is an independent health-care consultant who had ceased working for AlphaCare. He noticed one evening his phone randomly turned off.. When he turned it on again it was completely wiped(factory clean wiped) all his pictures, contacts and apps were gone. He received notice from the company afterward saying they had wiped his phone.

Apparently many companies have BYOD user agreements that pop up when employees connect to email or company servers. Most people do not read the pop ups, they automatically agree.

Finally the consequences have become sever enough people are being motivated to read these agreements.

In the light of Secretary of State Clinton's use of personal electronic devices and email for government work I became interested in what standards the United States Government had for such usage. Standards for government usage of personal electronic devices (BYOD) were being put into place in 2012. It will be interesting to see how this resolves in the future.

Security Breaches

There is a fine line between companies clean wiping electronic devices of former employees, security breaches like what happened to Target and government surveillance when it comes to privacy. Do we unknowingly give permission to businesses to know everything there is to know about us, by not reading policy agreements? I believe we do.

What is privacy?

  • Merriam Webster says privacy is :
  • Being alone
  • The quality or state of being apart from company or observation
  • Seclusion : freedom from unauthorized intrusion <one's right to privacy>

Do most people on the internet comprehend the right to privacy? Can you truly have privacy and still navigate the internet? Try to sign into free internet at Starbucks without agreeing to their privacy notice.

Snoopwall.com is telling people about flashlight apps that are malware. According to this site the top ten flashlight apps in Google play store are malware. Because this is the most downloaded app it has severe consequences. Smart phone users reported reported to FTC, and Number two most downloaded flashlight app Brightest flashlight

Yes we spy on you, yes we geo locate you,


Readable

It was exciting a couple of years ago to find a privacy policy easily to read and understand. Google in 2012 came up with an interactive privacy notice. It came in the form of one of those notice pop-ups asking you to read the policy when you checked into your Google accounts. You have the option of acknowledging the alert, or not. Read the policy! It is has information that will make you an educated consumer. Reading the policy you can get an idea of what Google wants from hubbers like us as well.

I love number 6 it says of the policy:

6. Miscellaneous. X reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, these Terms, the X Sites.(Who are X and Y sites)

The redundancy and/or humor factor of some website policy sites certainly give one food for thought if you read the policies.

Nonetheless my opinion is this: as privacy is harder to come by, privacy policies become more difficult to decipher, at a time where it is important for internet users to read and understand privacy policies they are becoming longer and more difficult to read. .

What You See Is What You Get

The first time an annoying sign asking me to read the Google privacy policy popped up on my computer screen I was annoyed. I recently discussed privacy policies with a friend who works in cyber security, so I read it.

Am I the only one who looks to see how many pages an article is before deciding I don't have time to reading it? Well what a surprise! This notice was just one page.

Unbelievable. Google uses links to lead you to places like privacy tools; links that explained Dashboard and other tools. Amazing. I clicked on a link and it lead me to a video. Noticeable Hub Pages similarities, which indicates our Hub Pages staff is doing their job investigating what Google what it wants. Hopefully Google is giving us examples.

Do You Read Privacy Notices?

How often do you read privacy notices?

See results without voting

Nobody enjoys reading privacy policies. Nonetheless, being knowledgeable about them is vital. My friends in cyber security read privacy policies. You won't believe the penalties for using other peoples internet without permission. If someone choses to go after you the penalty is stiff. I read privacy policies, because I don't like surprises. I must confess I don't read them every time they pop up. It is common for them to be 16 pages long, but it is vital you clearly understand what you have signed up for.

Unlike certain streaming media privacy policies I am compelled to regularly read, the Google policy has what you need for clear and concise understanding of Google. Dashboard is especially worth investigating to maximize your time. From Google Dashboard you can manage all your accounts. YouTube, gmail, Blogger all of your Google accounts. There is some controversy in the UK over the conglomeration of these accounts

I highly recommend reading Google's privacy policy to know what they are doing. In the light of legislation that is being introduced in the US legislatures reading all your privacy policies is a good thing. Reading privacy policies also help you protect yourself and your loved one as digital legacies expand. Knowing what will happen to photos after you die might help you preserve them.

Remember Hub Pages rules and regulations should be read periodically.

Privacy Policies and Social Media

As social media rises to greater popularity privacy policies have proven to be a nightmare for people whose family members have died. Young people put their life on social media. As recent as 2013 when a person died their family had no right to their accounts. If you left your passwords with someone they could access your accounts until the site discovered you were doing so. Social media policies had not been around long enough for companies to be concerned with account holders dying. It wasn't until people died by suicide and soldiers died in battle and their families wanted to access pictures and emails that internet providers realized the company privacy policies were causing tremendous difficulty.

Internet companies are becoming more responsive to this problem and are adjusting their privacy polices to accommodate family members, but law is not clear in this area.

While there are now methods for family members to access accounts, the matter is far from settled.


Don't be so busy you ignore the things going on around you physically or on the internet. Read privacy policies.

Privacy policies are not easy to read. You may not have time to read every one you are asked to agreed on a site, but spot checking periodically is a good idea.The companies and governments are prying into your business; it would be good to know how, so you don't sound like Mr. Irvin when you say," I never heard you would wipe my device clean" and they say, "Sir you agreed via pop-up when you signed onto our server."

Know what you have agreed to, or don't worry about the consequences, it is your decision.


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Comments 4 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I will take you advice, as I looked it over briefly but didn't read it thoroughly. Good advice.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

Pamela, I confess I don't always read them too carefully. I suspect they are designed to keep people from reading them. As I wandered around the Google site I thought this is a good example of what Google wants from their users.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Like Pamela said, this is very good advice. I also read the fine print. Often they give your information to other sites. Once you give your information to sites like facebook, pretty much everyone has it.

Thanks for writing this hub. It is fantastic. Voted up and shared.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

Michele, Delighted you visited. Can't believe how convoluted these policies have gotten. Sites count on people not reading them.

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