Monday, August 20, 2012

This Could Be Brilliant

The American Prospect directed me to a clever new site called ToS;DR, for Terms of Service; Didn't Read.

It refers to the many, many (many) pages of dense legal language that define our relationships with online services like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Steam, etc. The site states,

 “I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that.

Good idea! Because, yeah, I admit I click to indicate my understanding of and agreement to terms that I haven't actually read. I mean, how can you read that stuff? Does anyone read all their terms of service in full?

We should, yeah, long...eyelids getting heavy...ooh, look, something shiny somewhere else on the web! Yeah, yeah, I have read and agree, sure.

ToS;DR rates terms of service for various companies/services from A to E, with A being the best, and puts nifty little icons next to specific aspects of the terms, like a thumbs-up symbol for a "Promise to inform about data requests" or a red X for "No Right to leave the service."

 A lot of the ratings are still in progress, with "no class yet," but you can view the positives and negatives that are listed.

ToS;DR invites user input in developing its ratings, so if you have read and understood your terms of service, you might want to send them a note listing good and bad points for them to add to their lists.

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