May 2019

Misleader Board

Our attorneys analyzed thousands of privacy policies last month and flagged unusual legalese. What they found might surprise you!

May 2019 Misleader Board

The Hollywood Reporter, along with parent company Prometheus Global Media, seems to care as little about online privacy as it does about offline privacy. In their own words, you give them information “at your own risk.”

What’s more, they can store your information indefinitely and transfer it to any country, including those with the weakest data protection laws. See The Hollywood Reporter privacy rating.

When you shop at, you give the sporting goods giant permission to track and combine your online search history, physical location, and more.

Oh, and the cameras you see in-store? Dick's may very well use them for preventing theft, but they can also use them to collect your demographic and personal information for marketing!  See the Dick's Sporting Goods privacy rating.

The publisher is all about emerging technologies—and it shows. Beyond the detailed level of information they collect about you, Wired’s privacy policy states, “The Service may collect your Data even if the Service is not open on your Device or you’re not logged in.” See the Wired Magazine privacy rating.

Since 2017, it seems that O’Reilly Media has dialed back its book-selling efforts and doubled down on user data collection. Per its privacy policy, your “partner in learning” can collect special categories of data and information, including but not limited to your race or ethnicity, religious and political beliefs, sex life, and genetic and biometric data.

As with your location data, O’Reilly gives no basis for collecting your sensitive information, leaving us to wonder why it’s collected in the first place. See the O'Reilly privacy rating.

Given its Very Low privacy score (543 out of 850 at the time of publication), you might want to think twice before getting your news from Newsweek. By visiting any Newsweek website you consent to their privacy policy, and we agree with them when they say to read it *carefully.*

Among things to note, Newsweek collects a great deal of personal information and shares it with third parties, passes your subscription payment information to third parties for processing and storage (meaning you agree to the third-party privacy policies), and can retain your data indefinitely.

European Union residents should also be aware that Newsweek may transfer and store their data to other countries to use it with less regulation. See the Newsweek privacy rating.

If you’re looking for the trade-in value of your 2019 Honda with 32,000 miles, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking for a privacy policy that hasn’t been updated since 2015, you’ve also come to the right place. 2015 might not sound like that long ago, but the advancements in data collection technology and the misuse of personal data have been staggering since then.

If Kelley Blue Book (KBB) hasn't updated its privacy policy since 2015, it's hard to feel confident that it's properly storing, securing, and handling your sensitive financial, demographic, location, and other data. In fact, we found little information about KBB's data security measures or your rights to delete your data. See the Kelley Blue Book privacy rating.

For a financial institution, Synchrony appears to take few precautions to secure sensitive personally identifiable information transmitted through their site, stating, “Please note that information you send to us electronically is not necessarily secure when it is transmitted to us.”

This places the burden on you, the consumer, to ensure the safety of your credit card and social security numbers when you apply for one of their private label credit cards or one of their other services. See the Synchrony privacy rating.

At the end of 2018, streaming service Hulu reported a nearly 50% annual increase in subscribers—up to 25 million in the United States. But watching is a two-way street with Hulu, even if you simply visit the site. While you’re busy sharing your login with friends, Hulu may very well be collecting and sharing massive amounts of your data (including location) with social networking sites, advertisers, business partners, and even companies not affiliated with Hulu.

Decide you can live without The Handmaid’s Tale and 30 Rock? Per Hulu, they reserve the right to retain some information about you even after you delete your account. Should there be a security breach, don’t count on their privacy policy to tell you how they’ll handle it. See the Hulu privacy rating.

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