/privacywars

Rules of War

Introducing Privacy Wars, a weekly series from Rownd that pits the world's biggest brands against each other.   This is a new way to compare and contrast your favorite companies. Everyone compares product quality or customer service, but do they ever compare the complexity of requesting your OWN PERSONAL DATA? You would be surprised to see how many companies keep your private information and sell it to third parties without you even knowing. The worst part is some companies make it very difficult to request your data request or find a CCPA request form. 

This is your personal data, and you should be able to control it and delete it. So, we at Rownd decided to make this very serious topic fun.  A few weeks ago, we launched Privacy Hunt, a tool that makes Data request forms easy to find, now we are pitting companies and brands against each other.  We do a lot of research, compare the experiences, and declare a winner!  

Every week, we will compare companies to see if they are they are the best or worst when it comes to your private data. So, how do we score these companies?

Well, we will have five different rounds to see which company has the best overall experience when it comes to requesting to view your private data.

Round 1: Steps to Request Your Data

The first round is quite simple. How many clicks does it take for you to reach the Request form from the homepage. 

So how many clicks take to get from here

To Here?

Round 2: Method of Request

In Round 2, we begin to dissect the Request Form. Is the method of the request simple to use? We have four grading categories for the different methods used for the Request Form.

Method Points
Self-Service 5
Form 3
E-Mail Instructions 1
None 0

Self-Service is the most efficient way to request your data. You can do it yourself, and get the results back quickly.  Interested in self-service for your company, check out the Personal Data Center at Rownd! The company will receive 0 points if they ONLY do data request for residents in the State of California (Compliance vs customer).

Forms are nice to have because they are organized, but may take some time for the company to review and them and then grant access to your data.  Some can take up to 8 weeks to get a response.


E-Mails are a method some employ, but even less useful than forms. They are simple, but companies that use them usually do not respond until a month or so. They are easy to lose track of and possibly forget about.

Not having a request method is simply no longer an option. The brand will receive 0 points.

Round 3: Complexity of Privacy Policy

We have all agreed to a Private Policy, but do we really read it, and where can we find it? This round is dedicated to the complexity of a privacy policy page. There are a lot of elements that go into this round! We have the number of words, simplicity of URL, and readability!

The number of words are what you may expect, the number of words in the policy policy. We assume the longer the privacy policy, the more complex the policy and less accessible it is to the public. We will turn the word count into "minutes to read".

The simplicity of the URL is a little more nuanced. The privacy policy should be easy to find, but if it has a complex URL (example.com/legal/notices/privacy/privacy-policy/us; the more buried it is.

Finally, the readability is the actual Policy Page. The estimate is from Word Counter, but it tells you how many words, characters, sentences, the reading level, and etc! It will allow us to see which Policy Page is the easiest to find and easiest to read!

Round 4: Cookie Controls

Can you control your cookies on a website’s homepage? That is the main question while scoring in this round. Some pages allow you to either accept or deny cookies while looking at their website. The others collect your information no matter what… We are rating each cookie policy.

  • Opting in (10 Points) 

  • Finite Control (7 Points) 

  • Accept All (5 Points) 

  • Secret Watchers (0 Points)

Round 5: Privacy Page Appearance

This is the final round. Does this Privacy Page look clean? Is it easy to read and follow? This is important for the people who want to see what is being recorded and how to request their data in an organized and well-fashioned manner. 

Clean and Easy Privacy Page  

https://www.lyft.com/privacy                                            

Messy Privacy Page

https://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/uscorp1/policies-privacy

There you have it! This should be a fun way to see if your favorite companies are being responsible and helpful with your data request, or if they are deceiving you in order to make a profit from your own private data. Please follow the Rownd LinkedIn page to see weekly matches between your favorite brands. Also, be on the and look out for some Prediction Polls on our stories before our war is posted. Let the games begin! 

Back to Privacy Wars.