smart spending

What to look for in a privacy policy

Don't overlook the fine print
Don't overlook the fine print © Rob Byron/Shutterstock.com

Everyone knows they should read the fine print, but more often than not, they don't.

An April Fool's joke three years ago by a British online game retailer underscored just how often consumers will click "I accept" without reading. Almost nine out of 10 GameStation customers gave away their immortal souls after the retailer added a prank clause to its terms and conditions. Buyers could opt out by clicking a link and getting a special discount, but hardly anyone did that day.

If people are so quick to give away their souls, what about their privacy?

In the era of Big Data where companies seek new ways to monetize what they know about you -- where you like to shop, whether you take your medicine as prescribed and how much money you make -- it's becoming more important for consumers to know what they share and with whom.

The best way to do that is to read the fine print in company privacy policies. Reading 2,000 words or more can be a hassle, but there are certain keywords to look for that can tip you off as to whether what you're agreeing to could impact your privacy.

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