We helped TIME.com evaluate internet-based companies’ privacy policies to determine how well they followed plain language guidelines.
How Did We Evaluate the Internet-Based Companies?
Using expert judges and Acrolinx, an algorithm-based writing-assessment tool, we reviewed seven companies’ privacy policies. Both methods allowed us to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each, and to ultimately rank the companies.
Specifically, we evaluated the policies at three levels:
- Organization, navigation, signposting, and information design
- How easily can a reader locate certain information within the policy?
- Sentence level topics, such as sentence structure, word choice, and tone
- Is the language easy-to-understand?
- The “spirit” of the law
- Have the companies gone beyond the minimum plain language requirements to make their policy as transparent as possible?
What Were the Results?
While all seven privacy policies had strengths and weaknesses, Google came out on top. The full rankings* are as follows:
Access our full report and then read TIME.com’s article, These Companies Have the Best (And Worst) Privacy Policies.
Why are Privacy Policies Important?
* Note: We based our review on the privacy policies as written at the time. The companies may have since updated their privacy policies.