Where’s my information and where is it going? Quite a normal query, but can you answer the question when you provide information to an employer, a prospective employer, a vendor or service provider? Most of us would have a difficult time doing so, but that need not be the case.
Prior to providing your personal data in a website form, it behooves you to understand how the information will be handled and shared. Make it your business to know how your information will be protected (How secure is my information?) and who will be able to see your information (How private is my information?). You accomplish this by reviewing two documents which are available on most websites – the terms of service and the privacy statement/policy. A word of warning, in many cases these documents are purposefully dense in legalese and the level of verbosity high.
What of those websites with less than crystal clear TOS or Privacy Policies? I advocate the use of the CTRL-F or CMD-F when in the document. Search within the document for the word “Share” and as you sequence through you will note that immediately in proximity to the word “share”, “shares” or “shared” will be the answer to how your information is provided to third parties. Do the same with the word “Use” and as you sequence through, you will note how the information is used by the entity and their partners.