Comparing VPN Providers' Privacy Policies
VPN network users care more about privacy than general internet users. Yet thanks to the perception of privacy policies as confusing, complex documents, many of the networks’ policies go unread. At vpnMentor, we want all internet users aware of their options and privacy rights. So, we’ll use the space below to analyze and compare major VPN providers' privacy policies.
Why Do the Privacy Policies for VPN Providers Need a Closer Look?
First off: VPN networks have more discerning users when it comes to privacy matters. After all, private browsing is the number 1 motivation for using a VPN, according to a recent poll. By comparing the networks’ policies side-by-side, users can judge which policy they think will afford them the most privacy.
VPN Providers' Privacy Policies - The Comparisons
Hide My Ass (HMA)
Hide My Ass’ policy is a long, detailed document that sacrifices scan-ability for information totality. Interestingly, HMA endured some negative publicity for its role in the capture of the Sony Pictures website hacker. This publicity helps explain why the company puts so much detail into their privacy and logging policies.
VyprVPN presents a scan-able, plain English policy that explains the information it logs:
Overplay Inc, on the other hand, offers very little in terms of policy detail:
This network presents a scan-able, easy-to-read page that highlights a firm “no logging” policy.
International Law and VPN Privacy Policies
Payment Methods as a Privacy Factor
This makes services that accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies more appealing to many concerned users. They eliminate billing information requirements and make a user even more isolated from his/her online activity.
Collecting sensitive consumer information is an increasingly vital part of daily business. As more e-commerce transactions occur, networks are exposed to more consumer data than ever before. Unfortunately, governments and 3rd parties, like the online advertising industry, can easily gain access without users’ knowledge. One of the biggest reasons they get away with it: no one reads online privacy policies. While the push for “plain English” privacy policies gains traction, there is so far no data to show that more people are reading the agreements.
As online privacy issues gain more momentum, we expect these VPN privacy policies to provide more detail while still considering scan-ability and readability. We hope they become detailed documents, written for general readers (i.e. no legalese), with strong protections for user privacy.
In the meantime, vpnMentor will continue monitoring the privacy policies for web services and VPNs, so you don’t have to.
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