Browse Definitions :
Definition

privacy policy

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A privacy policy is a document that explains how an organization handles any customer, client or employee information gathered in its operations.

Most websites make their privacy policies available to site visitors.  A privacy page should specify any Personally identifiable information that is gathered, such as name, address and credit card number, as well as other things like order history, browsing habits, uploads and downloads.  The policy should also explain if data may be left on a user’s computer, such as cookies. According to best practices, the policy should disclose if data may be shared with or sold to third parties and if so, what the purpose is.

There is no concensus as to whether or not privacy policies are legally binding and no consistency in enforcement.  In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) promotes enforcement of existing laws and industry self-regulation.  Generally for the FTC, data breaches are not sufficient for legal action if there is no loss of money associated with the breach.  

The European Union’s Data Protection Directive has confronted companies such as Google about privacy changes that went contrary to E.U. law, threatening sanctions on the massive company.

Often, the first statement found in an online privacy policy is one to the effect that, by visiting the web page (which you are doing if you’re reading the policy), you agree to the details of the site’s privacy policy.

This was last updated in October 2013

Continue Reading About privacy policy

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

SearchSecurity

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

    DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a relatively new protocol that encrypts domain name system traffic by passing DNS queries through a ...

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer ...

Close