Openly Operated wants to make privacy policies actually mean something

In the world of tech, privacy has become a selling point. Apple promises that “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” Google claims it’s making privacy more than a “luxury good.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims “the future is private.” But consumers are often still at the mercy of companies. We have to trust that platforms aren’t secretly tracking us or using our data to train facial recognition algorithms — and that their privacy policies, which can be vague or impenetrable, offer any real protection.

Johnny Lin and Rahul Dewan, the co-creators of a new standard called Openly Operated, want to change this. Openly Operated is a set of guidelines for auditing how apps and web services deal with user data, like a…

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