Faculty Advisor

Wills, Craig E

Abstract

We undertook the task of evaluating aspects of privacy policies for online industries. We assessed a total of hundred websites using a fixed methodology, and then applied that methodology to each privacy policy. We investigated the relation between user information and the role of third- parties, affiliates and cookie-based targeted advertisements. Our analysis showed that user information is quite vulnerable as most companies pass information to both affiliates and third- parties, which in most cases includes personal information. Readability scores are quite consistent across websites, and they have not varied significantly over the years. However, the privacy policies of healthcare and dating websites are particularly difficult to read.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

December 2012

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Computer Science

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