Lecture 6 – Terms and Conditions

“Terms of Service; Didn’t Read (ToS;DR) is a website that proclaims to “help fix the biggest lie on the web”, which is agreeing to the terms and conditions of a website. Many people like myself agree to the terms and conditions of a website without even bothering to read a single word. ToS;DR uses a classification system to compare the fairness of a websites terms and conditions policy.

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I was interested in this because I have always thought that websites could be putting anything in their terms and conditions, and I would be agreeing to them no matter what they are. I wanted to specifically look at the website that I frequent the most.

The unclassified Facebook.

ToS;DR shows two positives to the Facebook terms and conditions. Facebook allows the user to comment on changes to the website before they happen, and the Facebook user owns their own data.
Upon further research I found that even though we own our own data, Facebook can do whatever they like with it anyway. And who truly cares about commenting on the websites changes? I certainly don’t. I don’t think the positives are all that good.

Moving onto the negatives.

– Broad copyright license. They can do what they want with the copyright license that they ‘grant’ the user. The copyright license doesn’t stop even when you delete your account, unless the content has been deleted by everyone else. Facebook automatically shares the users data with other services like Bing, Yelp,  Rotten Tomatoes and so on. Data is also used for many purposes like data analysis, testing, service improvement, control of the effectiveness of the personal ads, and location features and services.

– Facebook uses cookies to track you even if you are not interacting with them directly. For example, Amazon uses cookies to track a device and give the user specific advertisements on other websites, like associates of Amazon

– The androids app can record sounds, videos and take photos anywhere at anytime without the users consent. At any moment the application can be collecting images from what the camera is seeing. Personally I have a huge problem with this because I feel as though its going beyond invasion of privacy. My phone is with me all the time, so they could be taken a number of different photos that I don’t want taken. And who even knows where these photos end up?

For so long I have always thought that the internet was its own thing and whatever I do on the internet can’t affect me. But now having read this information, it scares me to think about all my personal information that is being stored somewhere and that people whom I don’t know can access this information at any time. Its terrifying to think that I have only chosen one website to look into, and in that one website I have found numerous things that I don’t agree with, but legally speaking I have not only read the terms and conditions, but I have agreed to them. But as I have already mentioned, this is only one website and I know for a fact that I have agreed to many terms and conditions over my time on the internet. I found this lecture to be a wake up call and i am glad that we were recommended this website. In the future I plan to always check this website before signing up with anything, and I will forever be cautious when surfing the web.


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