The ACLU lists Internet Privacy as a social justice issue, because companies see money to be made in collecting detailed information about customers in order to build profiles on them.

Additionally, many companies create privacy policies to comply with various national and international privacy laws, such as the CCPA, GDPR, and LGPD. These privacy policies are hosted on the company's website and contain legal jargon that the average person does not understand. Our product aims to make this legal jargon easily accessible and understandable to the masses.

PrivIQ brings awareness to average users of their privacy rights in an easy to use web browser extension.

What it does

While the user is browsing a company's website, the user can activate PrivIQ which will showcase if the company collects the user's personal information. Our application raises awareness of the company's privacy policy to the user so that a user can understand how a company handles the user's personal information.

How we built it

The application uses a web browser extension for Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, a crawler that finds the privacy policy, Microsoft Azure Text Analytics as the NLP engine that parses the privacy policy and matches relevant key phrases, and a wireframe that showcases whether the website collects the user's information. Working and collaborating in GitHub made all of the above possible.

Challenges we ran into

It was difficult integrating all four components--the browser extension, crawler, NLP engine, and wireframe--and getting them all to work together. We had difficulty with the crawler/ scraping and implemented that function in the end.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Working together as a team over great distances to solve some of the challenges we encountered. Also successfully making/returning a POST request in vanilla JavaScript with Fetch and not any modules, ha!

What we learned

How to use the Text Analytics Cognitive Service REST API (it's quite fast), and just getting more familiar with the Azure Portal and some of it's many offerings. Building an Edge Extension. How to pass/consume data with the CORS policy in the browser.

What's next for PrivIQ

We would also like to convert the privacy crawler/ web-scraper to a node.js/python Azure Functions HTTP trigger and use our extension’s idea as an API in the future.

We would like to create a dashboard with other relevant information about the privacy policy that we aren't capturing currently, such as whether the website shares or sells the user's personal data and the email address of the data protection officer. The user can contact the data protection officer if the user wants to submit a request to manage their personal information.

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