Inspiration

Privacy policies are supposed to enforce transparency so that users know how much of their data is being collected and how it will be used. But despite their public disclosure, most people don't read through ten-page-long legal documents and are consequently underinformed about what's happening to their data. With this chrome extension, we hope to enable users to see at a glance how their personal information is being used by a website or company.

What it does

True to its name, Layterms translates privacy policies into an accessible format so you can see at a glance what data the service collects. It cuts to the chase by presenting the results in a simple table format so you don't have to wade through dense paragraphs to find key information. Pages can be instantly condensed into a summary and compared against the privacy policies of popular websites to see how their data collection lines up with the norm.

How we built it

JavaScript, Python, Matlab, Google Cloud, Flask

Challenges we ran into

Machine learning was an important aspect of this project, and Google Cloud's Natural Language API was a difficult one to implement.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Giving dozens of corporate privacy policies more pageviews than they ever dreamed possible.

What we learned

What's next for Layterms

Incorporating sentiment analysis for news on data collection: what do people in the know think of the company's data policy? Which types of data collection are considered ethical?

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