By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Those long and confusing online privacy policies could be hitting the chopping block in California. A lawmaker is working to have them re-written at an eighth grade reading level, no more than 100 words long.

Going online sometimes means agreeing to a long and rambling privacy policy.


“Like everyone else, I punch right through it,” Sacramento resident Ken Crawford said.

CBS13 printed out the 17-page privacy policy of iTunes and asked people at Sacramento International Airport to read just part of it aloud.

After a few sentences, Crawford decided to do what he normally does.

“Yada, yada, nobody gets this stuff,” he said.

Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) of California’s 49th District is now trying to limit online privacy policies in California to just 100 words and make the language so simple a child could understand it.

“The problem being number one, these documents are very lengthy. Number two, they contain a lot of technical terminologies people do not understand,” said Chau.

Attorney Mark Reichel, known as a leader in consumer rights, says the idea has merit, especially in California.

“It really is a misnomer to call it a privacy policy because what it really is is an agreement to waive your privacy. It’s an agreement to have no privacy,” said Reichel.

Chau’s proposed bill is much like his shortened idea, coming in at only 110 words.


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