New Service Gives A Simple Breakdown Of Website T&Cs, But Who Is The Worst Offender?
Let’s be honest: no-one reads terms and conditions. Packed with technical jargon and often the length of a short novel, it would probably take more time to read and understand them than it would to use the service in the first place.
For this reason, we all tend to skip right to the bottom and click ‘accept’ without consideration for what it may include. However, most of us will also be aware that company terms and conditions can contain vital information about what is done with the data we provide. It leaves users between a rock and a hard place: waste your time comprehending an enormous body of text to ensure you are not agreeing to something you’re uncomfortable with, or risk ignoring it in favour of using the website.
Terms Of Service; Didn’t Read is providing a vital service to combat this. They are reading the company policies for major websites like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google and many more, and providing a bullet point breakdown of the important information contained therein. They are also providing an overall grade – on a scale of A to F – about how safe it is to agree to said conditions.
But which are the worst offenders?
Users of YouTube may not be quite aware of what exactly they are signing up to when they use the video service. There is a period in which you may take legal action against YouTube that extends to no later than one year. Also: not only can they change the terms and conditions without your knowledge, but your work can also be removed based on these fluctuating terms and conditions without any notice to the uploader. And what happens to these videos when they’re deleted? Well, YouTube keeps hold of them. However, one of the few positives is that YouTube will promise to assist with any take-down notices from a copyright holder.
When you agree to be an Amazon customer, you agree to let the service track your internet usage on other websites. Their cookies will see what information you are accessing and target advertisements directly to you based on that information. Similarly, you agree to let Amazon enable third party advertisers to target their own products or services to you (you can choose to opt out of this at a later date though).
There are some unusual and potentially concerning policies you agree to when you join the social media platform Twitter. As they did in September 2009, when terms and conditions related to their copyright license were changed, Twitter can make amendments whenever they see fit. Furthermore, users’ accounts can be deactivated but they will not be deleted until after 30 days, during which time the company retains the rights to all of the content on there. However, there is a plus side: while Twitter collects data about you, they only keep it for ten days and you can decide to opt out.