Wednesday, October 23, 2013

List of Gay Teens for Sale

Forbes has a disturbing report on a commercial website — The site claims to assist high school students in finding college scholarships that they might be eligible for.

…once they sell your personal information the buyer can use it in any way that they want.

The student completes a profile by answering a series of questions. Pop-ups "remind" the student to answer every question in order to be eligible for the most scholarships. The questions include the sexual orientation of both the student and his or her parents.

The service is free. The company makes money by selling lists of students. I have no idea how effective the site is in finding scholarships. However the "privacy policy" is among 40 menu options that are in no particular order. The resulting document is ambiguous — at best. recognizes that your privacy is important. To demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy and to explain the types of information we obtain about visitors to our website, how that information is obtained and used ...
How important is that privacy? Later on we learn:
When shares your personal information with a third party as described in this Privacy Policy, your personal information will become permanently subject to the information use and sharing practices of the third party. That third party will not be restricted by this Privacy Policy with respect to its use and further sharing of your personal information. If you agree to receive communications from our marketing partners and later change your mind, you may need to contact those companies directly. Any updates you wish to make to the information they possess must also be forwarded to the company communicating with you at that point in time.
In other words, once they sell your personal information the buyer can use it in any way that they want.

How many teenagers even bother to read through what is a daunting document? How many understand its intent. Parents are not a party to the implied consent even though their privacy is being compromised.
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