Always wanted to read a website’s terms of service? Me neither.
Latest research reveals just 7% of Britons read terms of service before clicking the phrase ‘I have read and agreed to the terms’ which would make it the biggest lie on the internet closely followed by ‘it’s complicated.’
You can be forgiven for thinking little of it. But the concerning part is just over one fifth of the people surveyed said they had suffered as a result of not doing their homework. One in ten found themselves locked into a contract longer than they had expected, and one in twenty lost money.
Fortunately, for the rebels who aren’t prepared to look through 50 pages of conditions every time they want to visit a website there’s now a service that aims to do it for you. A service and browser extension named Terms of Service; Didn’t Read scours through popular internet services like Google, Facebook and Netflix, rates them from very good to very bad and then tells you the important bits.
But it’s not all bad news, YouTube will help you deal with copyright holder’s take down notice by giving you the chance to defend your right in front of the jurisdiction of California. And search engine DuckDuckGo do not track any of your searches or personal information which serves as a good alternative if you’re not comfortable with Google keeping ‘your searches and other identifiable user information for an undefined period of time.’
It’s no secret that terms of service aren’t built to be easily assessable. And for the dedicated few who do read through them, when small changes are made you’ll be sent the full document again instead of being informed about that small change so you get to do it again. To put simply, it’s easier for a company if you don’t know everything you’re agreeing to.
It’s why a service like this can help, and although it’s not game changing yet. It’s a start. Having something that will shine light on company’s terms of service may cause them to think twice about what they put in there.
Check it out here