Privacy policies and terms of service were in the news a fair amount in the past year. People are awakening to the importance of these documents as their lives become increasingly entwined with web and mobile services. There is already a lot of scrutiny on the privacy policies of the largest sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. However, other sites are able to “fly under the radar”, effecting changes to their policies that may catch their users unawares. And, needless to say, it is not feasible for a typical user to constantly scan the terms of service for all the sites they visit.
It is with this in mind that we announce our Terms of Service Tracker project. We are tracking privacy policies and terms of service for hundreds of the most popular sites daily. When we detect a change, it is posted using our delightful change-tracking tools. You can even follow an RSS feed if you want real-time alerts to these changes. We also plan to tweet changes that we find interesting, scandalous, or just plain funny.
So what have we found so far? We have only been tracking the docs since January 16th, and yet a few interesting changes have come up:
- Squidoo removed some comedic language from their policy, but also removed guarantees that they would never spam their users or disclose peronally-identifying information. Check it out here.
We think this service can also be useful to lawyers who are drafting policies such as these, as they will be able to see how the policies of major sites change and evolve.
If you believe that we are missing an important site’s policies, let us know and we’ll add it to our tracker!