Some refer to it as “the biggest lie on the web:” that’s all of those who click “agree” after they did NOT read the terms of service (TOS) for a website. After all, most people just want to use Twitter, Facebook, Skype, or all the various Apple, Google and Microsoft services out there. They don’t want to wade through pages of legalese before they do so.
Now, a group of legal and technology experts have gotten together to create a peer-reviewed repository rating the terms of services for various popular websites. TOS-DR.info (stands for Terms of Service: Didn’t Read) collaborators bill themselves as a “user rights initiative to rate and label website terms & privacy policies, from very good to very bad.”
The site is definitely a work in progress, but could promise to provide a valuable snapshot of what you’re agreeing to when you do click that “agree” check box.<
In an attempt to “make the fine print easy to understand,” the group is approaching this daunting task by rating each site’s TOS as it applies to a number of topics, with each topic receiving a rating, from class A, “best terms of services: they treat you fairly, respect your rights and will not abuse your data;” to class E, “the terms of service raise very serious concerns.”
Topics covered in a typical TOS agreement might include whether the website can sell your data, how the service deals with government requests for your data, whether the service claims copyright over your content, and much more.
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