Approach: A comparison of users' expectations of privacy online and the data collection practices of website operators.
Goal: To identify specific practices that may be harmful or deceptive and attract the attention of government regulators.
Result: Recommendations for policymakers to protect consumers and for website operators to avoid stricter regulation.
User Expectations and Knowledge
- Users are concerned about data collection online and want greater control over their personal information.
- Users lack awareness of some data collection practices.
- Users don't know who to complain to.
- Websites collect and analyze data about users, but only offer partial access and control to the users.
- Website policies are unclear about several important issues, such as retention and data enhancement.
- Websites claim they do not share user data with third parties, but they do share with affiliates that users may have no relationship with.
- Web bug trackers are ubiquitous. Analytics and ad serving companies can track user behavior across large portions of the web.