When Was the Last Time You Read the Terms + Conditions?

‘I have read and agree to the Terms + Conditions’ is probably one of the most frequently told lies in the entire online world. The terms and conditions are often seen as an inconvenience or an obstacle, but in reality, it could be the difference between the freedom to browse and a stolen identity.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

In June of 2014, Mikko Hyppöen, security expert, spent an entire week actually reading the terms and conditions, before agreeing to anything. After reading through over 146,000 words of confusing legal documents, he set out to prove a point. Backed by Europol (European law enforcement agency), his company F-Secure setup a free WiFi hotspot in London’s financial district. Hidden in the terms and conditions was a “Herod Clause”. In exchange for WiFi, the “recipient agreed to assign their first born child to us for the duration of eternity.” Six people signed up.

“EULAs (End User License Agreements) suck – we can all agree on that. They shouldn’t be binding, because nobody reads them. But from a legal point of view, they just might be.”

Mikko Hyppöten

I don’t know about you, but it makes me rethink every terms and conditions I have ever “read and agreed to.” But incase that didn’t hit close enough to home for you, here are several other examples of terms and conditions from companies we use every single day.

Twitter > They have the rights to all of your content.
iTunes > You don’t actually own any of the music you buy.
Facebook > They can do whatever they want with your photos and information.
Instagram > They are free to use or modify anything you post.
Netflix > They reserve the right to disclose your information AND they don’t guarantee your security.
Spotify > They have access to basically everything stored on your phone. (They even have reports of credit cards being charged without authorization!)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

In the long run, it may be worth it to take the extra time to read over what you are agreeing to. When is the last time you read the fine print?

When was the last time you read the terms and conditions? *http://bit.ly/2M2qgJm*
When was the last time you read the terms and conditions?*http://bit.ly/2M2qgJm*

7 thoughts on “When Was the Last Time You Read the Terms + Conditions?

  1. I agree the fine print is long and in legalise and so i usually just agree. I know that some of the stuff in them makes sense but most of it i have no idea what they are asking us to agree to. I think if they made it simple and to the point then people would have more confidence in agreeing.
    thanks for the post

  2. When I first started as a designer in Ottawa, I was hired by a high-tech company. One of my jobs was to lay out the EULA (End User License Agreement) documents for insertion into their software packages (it was well before the cloud and downloading software was a big thing). I can’t imagine anyone reading that content; it was always so long, and seemed like it was a different language!

    I recently read an article about TikTok influencers who were upset that their content was used in ads promoting TikTok (Sloane, 2019; https://adage.com/article/digital/tiktok-users-are-surprised-find-themselves-ads-app/2204996). Their terms state “you hereby grant us an unconditional irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully transferable, perpetual worldwide licence to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, make derivative works of, publish and/or transmit, and/or distribute and to authorise others users of the Services and other third-parties to view, access, use, download, modify, adapt, reproduce, make derivative works of, publish and/or transmit your User Content in any format and on any platform, either now known or hereinafter invented” (https://www.tiktok.com/en/terms-of-use). In this situation, many were upset to see their videos in promotional materials, yet there were others who seemed to be fine with it. Thanks for posting this topic: it’s a really interesting one that perhaps we should all pay more attention to!

  3. This is a question worth considering. In fact, I never read the terms and conditions, but I didn’t realize that there would be a lot of problems. Network security is really important, information theft is terrible, I always trust these big companies, so I didn’t notice the security issue. I think most people are like me, so our information will be collected by more companies and used to make money.

  4. Your blog is a great reminder that we need to put more focus on terms and conditions. I myself am very guilty of agreeing to them without really reading them in their entirety. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is something I dearly suffer from. If they started making summaries for these people would probably take the time to go through it just before clicking. Most of the time people are not really reading they are just brushing through…

  6. Yikes! I can’t think of the last time I read the fine print! Its usually so long and jumbled with so many different legal terms that I breeze right through them or not at all. Thanks for encouraging me to read everything a bit closer!

  7. This is such a great post – I can’t even remember the last time I actually read the terms and conditions. But outlining what is actually taken from each of the platforms when you click ‘I agree’ is definitely something I should be considering. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.