Online Privacy Checkup

posted Jan 30, 2017, 8:55 AM by Tom Pedersen   [ updated Apr 13, 2018, 5:53 AM ]
Reviewing privacy settings and personal information collected/maintained online was a great way to celebrate Data Privacy Day.  Totally amazing to see how much personal information is collected and spread around the Interweb to provide our personalized experiences.  Here are notes and links from privacy checkups at a few popular websites - hopefully useful to others.  


Safety Center - designed to help manage the security and privacy of personal data. 
Privacy Checkup - Review/Adjust important Privacy Settings
Take out - Create/Download archive of personal information 
Notes:  Review of personal information will take some time!  They maintain a LOT of personal data!  


Privacy Basics - "Learn how to customize your privacy settings so you can confidently share your moments." 
Data Policy - Quite a site (and sight!) -  Comprehensive discussion of FB personal data collection & use 
Permanently Delete Facebook Account - Unlikely that all personal information will be removed
Notes:  Review took a long time and seemed inconclusive.  Lots of data, confusing/conflicting procedures.  Creepy!
** If you don't have a FB account, check "
This doesn't answer my question" for further instructions

Yahoo (Oath)

Yahoo's Privacy Center - Details how Yahoo treats your personal information & ways to control 
Data Storage and Anonymization - Describes data that is collected, no controls offered
Oath Privacy Controls Page - Probably now the best place to start
Safety Center contains Privacy & Identity section, but strictly informational
Ad Interest Manager allows you to opt-out of personalized advertisements
Account Settings - Access to very limited Yahoo Account information 
Notes:  In June 2017 Verizon rolled Yahoo under umbrella (others include AOL, Techcrunch, Tumblr ...)
I took a quick run thru links above after Oath, but still pretty hard (impossible) to determine extent of personal information retained.  No huge improvement in controls


Account Settings - Access to limited personal information
Privacy Dashboard (new in Jan 2017!) - Informational w/ controls to manage & Dowload
Microsoft Trust Center - Security, Privacy and compliance info for MS Cloud Services
Opt-Out of Interest-Based Advertising - Control "personalized Ads" in browsers & windows 
Privacy Statement - Appears to be comprehensive, covering all Microsoft products/services
Notes:  There is now download option for activity history, but no obvious access to ALL data maintained by MS
If you are a Windows 10 user remember to work your way through Settings/Privacy for more MS review     


Privacy Policy - Reasonably straight forward*  BUT you have to opt-out, NO Privacy by default
Account Settings - Quite comprehensive, provides Archive Download
Account Settings -> Safety and Privacy -> Personalization and Data* - START HERE
Account Settings -> Apps - Amazed by number of authorized apps, revoked access to many 
Account Settings -> Your Twitter Data - Snapshot of Account information, A LOT here, dig down
Notes:  Pretty easy to review personal information and update privacy settings.


Privacy Policy - Set some time aside to review this one!
Data Privacy and Advertising Settings are worth the visit - interesting 
Privacy Settings - Spend some time in here.  LinkedIn digs deep, collects A LOT!
Personal Data Export Page - Download copy of LinkedIn Data (presented in unwieldy csv files) 
Notes:  Pretty intrusive.  Lots of options, surprised by some of the collected information   

* June 2017 Twitter Update - New Privacy Policy and Personalization and Data Settings