Visible to the public "What if Opting Out of Data Collection Were Easy?"Conflict Detection Enabled

Many sites allow users to opt-out of some of their data collection and use practices. However, this choice is hard to find as it is often hidden in long, difficult-to-read privacy policies. A new study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab shows that it is possible to automatically extract and classify some of these opt-out options through Machine Learning (ML) techniques. This study introduces a novel browser extension called Opt-Out Easy that can automatically extract opt-out choices from privacy policies. The plug-in is said to be user-friendly and easy to use. CyLab's Norman Sadeh, the principal investigator on the study, highlighted the existence of different privacy regulations that grant users the right to control how companies use their data, in addition to the difficulty in accessing these choices on most websites. Sadeh's team trained an ML algorithm to scan policies for language and links regarding the option to opt-out of a website's data collection practices. The Opt-Out Easy plug-in, developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan School of Information, is now available to Google Chrome users. This article continues to discuss the study, development, capabilities, and goal of the Opt-Out Easy browser extension.

CyLab reports "What if Opting Out of Data Collection Were Easy?"