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On the Net, it's much easier to curse the darkness than to light a candle. But since I feel strongly about privacy -- and since so many sites have unclear, wretched, or simply unacceptable privacy policies -- I thought it would be refreshing to compile a list of those sites whose policies pass my personal reasonableness test. Along the way, I'll abstract out the fundamental principles of a good, reasonable privacy policy.

By the way, listing a site here means I like their privacy policies, not (necessarily) their products. It's not meant as an endorsement of any kind.

Sites That Get It Right

  • PayPal (home) (policy)
  • New Jersey Transit (home) (policy)
    • Short, sweet, and to the point:

    "At NJ TRANSIT we share your concern about privacy. For each visitor to our Web site our server automatically recognizes only the visitor's domain name, i.e. aol, Hotmail, or Prodigy, but not the E-mail address.

    NJ TRANSIT never uses information gathered here except to contact you with information about this organization. We do not rent, sell or exchange information with any other companies."

    • This shows that you can have a good policy without fifteen screens of legalese.


Principles of a Good Policy

  • Active notification of a change in the policy.


Privacy Policies that Work:

"The Good Guys"