How is your information used?
Once you know what information a company has, check the privacy notice to find out what the company will do with it. Unfortunately, the explanation often can be vague and seem innocuous, says David Jacobs, the consumer protection counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
"Almost every company states that it will use personal information to improve its products and services," he says.
For instance, Facebook faced stiff opposition two years ago when it tried to loosen its privacy controls and give mobile app developers the ability to see a Facebook user's home address or cellphone number. The company faced more criticism this year when it wanted to sell Instagram users' photos to advertisers.