Privacy evaluations are designed to categorize the complexity of a vendor's privacy policies into a simple and consistent framework that provides the right amount of detail and information about a product for every user and at the right decision point given their awareness and understanding of privacy. Our privacy evaluations aim to provide enough detail about a product based on a scale of a parent or educator's understanding of privacy to help them make a more informed decision and encourage all individuals to learn more about privacy and increase their awareness. The greater an individual's privacy awareness, the more detailed information displayed. The privacy evaluations categorize a parent or educator's privacy awareness into the following levels: no, low, medium, high, and compliance awareness.
No Awareness: These individuals have no awareness of privacy and do not consider privacy issues at all in their decision-making process.
Low Awareness: These individuals understand that privacy may be important but have minimal to no awareness of what privacy concerns or issues they should look for when deciding whether or not to use a product.
High Awareness: These individuals are familiar with their most important privacy concerns about a product and are interested in reading detailed summary reports about a product to understand the risks. Also, these individuals are interested in learning more about complex privacy issues by reading our research reports.
Compliance Awareness: These individuals are considered "experts" by their peers and are comfortable reading privacy policies and look for as much detail as possible about a product to meet their federal, state, or contractual procurement requirements.
The following hierarchical structure illustrates individual privacy awareness and privacy evaluation details.
The following table describes how our privacy evaluations break down different levels of evaluation details based on an individual's privacy awareness:
|Low||Basic Score, Rating Risk Flags|
|Medium||Product Summary, Product Concerns, Intended Users|
|High||Concern Score, Concern Statements, Standard Privacy Report|
|Compliance||Full Privacy Evaluation Reports, Full Privacy Evaluation Data Export|
The Privacy Ratings page describes how we categorize evaluations into three ratings based on meeting minimum privacy and security requirements, which parents and educators, with no privacy awareness, can use to make a more informed decision. We also describe the difference between basic and full evaluations, and our Evaluation Scores page describes how overall scores can help parents and educators with low privacy awareness compare products and make an informed decision about a product's privacy practices alongside its evaluation rating. The Privacy Risks page also describes how our rating criteria help parents and educators with low privacy awareness quickly understand why a product received its rating with some helpful information to learn more about the privacy risks and harms.
For parents and educators with high privacy awareness, the Evaluation Scores page describes how each concern category receives its own score based on how the company's policies answered the 10 questions in each concern. Similarly to Privacy Risks, parents and educators can learn why each concern received the score it did with concern statements that automatically describe the practices of each question in a concern. The Standard Privacy Report section describes that for parents and educators with high privacy awareness, they can download a simple report that summarizes a product's policies in an easy-to-read bullet outline that describes the privacy statements of the product. Moreover, for parents, educators, and school or district administrators with compliance awareness of privacy, our full privacy evaluation reports and evaluation data export are available in a separate format for them to learn as much detail as possible about a product in order to meet their federal, state, or contractual procurement requirements. In addition, parents and educators with compliance awareness can navigate the privacy evaluation questions, which include additional background information and relevant citations to help them learn about better practices for each evaluation question. Lastly, our Policy Annotator tool is available for parents, educators, and companies who would like to complete their own privacy evaluation and better understand the privacy practices of products they use everyday.