- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Organizing For America
There's one example that makes you wonder whether either the new service works as it should or if companies understand the intent behind the word "updated." YouTube is listed as having a change in its privacy notice. But look at the old and new ones side-by-side and the only difference highlighted is a change in the date -- from February 24, 2009 to March 11, 2009 -- on which the policy was updated. (I just cut and pasted text from both versions into Microsoft Word files and ran a comparison and, indeed, only the date is different. So why the update? Busy work for some underwhelmed lawyer?)
From an industry view, this could be a dangerous service, because a sudden change in policy will jump out. Even if the company means nothing untoward by it, legal wording might set people off, suggesting that perhaps explanatory commentary might make sense. Only then, someone could probably argue that the explanation should set the interpretation a court might use, so any attempt to slip something by consumers would probably fall on its face. (Or is that facebook?) Given that change notifications are available from the EFF as an RSS feed, you can bet the most militant of individuals and journalists will keep a close eye. And how long before the organization expands its scope beyond this initial group?
There's another interesting business take, as well. The EFF has just provided companies with a minor but potentially useful competitive intelligence tool. Eventually corporate strategy gets translated into legal protective notices, so this service could possibly help round out one corporation's CI view of another.
Contract signing image via stock.xchng user h9k, standard site license.