Fox News' website isn't just fair and balanced, it's also among the most protective of web users' personal information, according to a new rating system called PrivacyScore.
PrivacyChoice LLC, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., developed PrivacyScore as a way to assess the privacy risk of using a website, according to the company. PrivacyScore considers nine factors, and assigns websites a numerical score from zero to 100.
So what factors go into PrivacyScore?
- Shares personal data (up to 30 points);
- Deletes data promptly when you close your account (10 points);
- Notifies a user of government requests for personal data (5 points); and
- Requires confidentiality from vendors who can access personal data (5 points).
PrivacyScore also looks at the privacy policies of third-party companies that collect user data at a website, the company explains. The formula assigns points for:
- Not associating a user's personal data with a user's profile (20 points);
- Deleting user data within one year (10 points);
- Being subject to oversight by industry organizations (10 points);
- Steering clear of personal information like health history and financial records (5 points); and
- Allowing a user to opt out of targeted advertising (5 points).
Among mainstream U.S. news websites, Fox News emerged on top with a PrivacyScore of 84, according to the website ZDNet (which itself got a PrivacyScore of 73). Other high-scoring sites included The New York Post, CNET, The Washington Post, and MSNBC.
At the other end of the spectrum, low-scoring websites should raise a red flag, PrivacyChoice says. Users should consider activating their web browser's "tracking protection" features as added protection, the company suggests.
PrivacyScore's website-rating tool debuted Feb. 12. You can check it out for yourself by clicking here.
- How much online privacy do you really have? Less than you think (ZDNet)
- Privacy Tool Lets Users Quickly Rank Websites on Privacy Policies (Wired)
- PrivacyScore (PrivacyChoice LLC)