AUSTIN, Texas — The Center for Identity, a research organization at The University of Texas at Austin, today released PrivacyCheck, a free browser extension that scans privacy policies online and illustrates the risk of sharing personal data with any given company. Currently available for Chrome users, PrivacyCheck gives users a simple, fast way to make informed decisions about privacy.
PrivacyCheck automatically provides a graphical, at-a-glance summary of the ways in which a company plans to use personal data. The browser add-on scans lengthy privacy policies and rates the usage policies by highlighting easy-to-understand risk levels (shown in green, yellow or red) of 10 factors affecting a consumer’s identity security and privacy. Those factors are:
- Email Address: How does the site handle your email address?
- Credit Card Number: How does the site handle your credit card number and home address?
- SSN: How does the site handle your Social Security number?
- Ads & Marketing: Does the site use or share your personally identifiable information for marketing purposes?
- Location: Does the site track or share your location?
- Children’s Personally Identifiable Information: Does the site collect personally identifiable information from children under 13?
- Law Enforcement: Does the site share your information with law enforcement?
- Control of Data: Does the site allow you to edit or delete your information from its records?
- Data Aggregation: Does the site collect or share aggregated data related to your identity or behavior?
“PrivacyCheck gives consumers an easier way to make truly informed decisions about whether to click ‘I Agree’ and to control where their personal information ends up,” said Dr. Suzanne Barber, director of the Center for Identity at UT Austin. “Whether a company could sell personally identifiable information to third-parties or whether an app will release data to law enforcement without a search warrant, consumers deserve greater transparency before sharing their information.”
PrivacyCheck is compatible with Google Chrome browsers and is available for free download in the Chrome Web Store. The tool is being announced at the ID360: Global Forum on Identity today to hundreds of thought leaders from government, academia and industry. To register for ID360, visit http://identity.utexas.edu/id360.