Sunday, November 18, 2012

Disconnect's Privacy Hackathon

Last Friday, we partook in a "legal hackathon". I don't think I can explain the context more eloquently than Casey did already but the gist of the hackathon was that privacy policies are hard to understand and we can help solve this problem by applying icons. (Sort of like how your clothing has pictures to tell you not to iron it or a bottle of bleach has pictures to tell you not to drink it.) The idea was to get lots of people together to read the privacy policies of thousands of websites and select appropriate icons.

The hackathon is over now but you can still participate on your own. 


1. Sign up for an account if you'd like:
2. Select a website from the sites list. Some of the websites are already done but you're welcome to make revisions. 
3. Read the privacy policy.
4. Apply four icons.
  • The first slot is about collection and use. Does the website collect or use your personal information in ways that you did not expressly allow or reasonably expect? 
  • The second slot is about sharing and selling your data. Does the website share or sell your personal information without your consent?
  • The third slot is about disclosure requests. Does the website disclose your information if it is not legally obligated to?
  • The last slot is about retention. How long does the website keep your information for?

You can also add websites that are not on the list by downloading the Firefox browser extension. This also allows you to view any icons that have already been applied to websites you visit.

Here are some popular websites that have been iconified:

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