Keeping Your Data
I've often written in this column that just because you delete something online does not mean it is gone. The regulations regarding Facebook in Europe are different because of the strict privacy laws in Ireland, where the company office is based, so when people began requesting to see what personal information had been saved, they were often amazed to receive over a hundred pages of related information including posts they thought they had deleted. Just because it does not appear online anymore does not mean that dreadful picture or horrible post is gone forever.
Protecting Your Data
Your data should be protected in some way and that should be spelled out. Remind kids to check for language that indicates their data is protected such as "take commercially reasonable precautions to protect the information from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction of data."
Change is in the Wind
Privacy policies change all the time. For example, Facebook tends to change theirs on a regular basis and they have even removed the word "privacy" from their policy, which means that you may be looking for something other than a "privacy" policy when looking for information about how you are protected. Ideally, you should be notified of a change in policy by email, text, or an announcement on the site. Many sites act like your continued use of the site is your acceptance of any policy changes. If it is a site you use on a regular basis, you may want to check every few months to see what changes have been made and kids should be reminded to do this as well.