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Could AI Apps Read Privacy Policies?

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Privacy Policies: Could A I Read Them For You?

If you’re like most of us, you lie routinely. You lie when you open a social media account, enable an app, or activate a cloud storage function. The lie is in the words “I have read and understood”- which you affirm when you agree to a privacy and use policy.

Google's privacy policy, summarized by Polisis. Image credit: Polisis, screenshot


The enclosed image is a Polisis summary of Google’s user privacy policy.


Of course you haven’t read and understood the privacy policy. Who could? Such policies are dauntingly long and convoluted, and are written in legal language that almost nobody can understand. Few are written in plain English. If we read them at all, we only scan them. Of course, this means we miss critical information, and we agree to constraints and invasions of privacy we might not accept if we knew about them.

What, then, can you do?

Could artificial intelligence help?

We have good news, You can avoid the headaches that come with reading privacy policies on your own. Artificial intelligence (A I) or machine learning apps could read and analyze them for you.

One of the pioneering efforts in this field is Polisis, a combined web site and browser extension. Polisis can find a web site’s privacy policy and read it in about 30 seconds. It then summarizes the policy and displays a flow chart showing you what the web service does with your data. Polisis summaries are in plain English, so they’re easy to follow. You’ll appreciate this if you’ve ever tried to decipher the legal jargon in most user agreements.

What can you do, though, if you still don’t understand some parts of the user agreement? For this, Polisis offers PriBot, an A I chatbot. It will discuss with you any┬áremaining concerns about keeping your data private.

Can A I do everything?

No matter what online tools you use, you still have to be alert. Even a system like Polisis requires you to exert a little effort. If you won’t read its summaries, it won’t help you.

As it has always been, online security requires your attention. This will never change.


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