Reading the fine print: How to tell if your privacy is really protected
Realtor Chantay Bridges uses major social media apps and buys materials online to help run her business.
“I use the sites quite frequently,” said Bridges.
But what she did not realize, is some of those companies now have clauses like this in their privacy policies. For example, in the case of a, “new owner… we may transfer your information.”
Experts say that means if the business is sold, data collected about the client, goes too.
“I was extremely shocked,” Bridges said.
Insiders say a growing number of companies now have similar disclosures. Some policies even say your information may be shared with a potential new owner during sales negotiations.
“Data can be a goldmine for companies,” explained attorny Elise Frejka
A data goldmine because some companies collect information about millions of people, experts say, from your name, birth date, address, email, phone number your purchase history and more. That can be pretty valuable in a sale.
“I think it’s a necessary evil in order for an acquiring company or an investor to look at the model of the company and make informed decisions as to what the economics are,” said Frejka.
When a business goes bankrupt your data can also be at risk of being sold. The Federal Trade Commission fought to protect consumer privacy in recent high profile cases to make sure companies were fair to customers.
“It’s really going to depend on that company policy at the time they collected your information,” said Dixon.
Bridges says from now on she is not going to just gloss over privacy policies but will look to see what happens to her data if a company changes hands.
“We take a look at stuff, but we don’t always dig a little deeper and we probably need to look at that a little closer,” she said.