User Or Abuser?
By Will from Holland
Online User Agreements Should Be Called "Abuser" Agreements.
"Please read carefully before continuing..."
That's usually where you scroll to the bottom and click "I agree" as fast as you can, right?
Everybody tells you to "read the user agreements or privacy statements" before going to a site online. Gets boring hearing that after awhile.
And it really gets boring if you actually start reading those things. Some privacy statements/user agreements run thousands of words, and the worst use words and phrases so simple-minded, you'd think they were written on another planet.
Most of them are over-written and over-long on purpose, too.
So you won't read them! In fact, one major financial institution, according to a deposition in a San Francisco Class Action lawsuit, actually hired a Marketing company to make their privacy statements hard to understand.
Most online user agreements also literally force you to agree to their terms if you want to use their site or buy their product or service. Even good companies play this game. And virtually all companies try to use these agreements to limit their liability in dealing with you.
And then another little detail... Privacy.
If you, somewhere in your life, actually have read a privacy statement, you were most likely told that all the information you have to give out is strictly private and won't be shared with other companies—except of course, for "affiliates."
Two problems here: most companies can change their promise not to share your information at any time, and "affiliates" can be anybody in the world.
Does any of this bother you?
It should. We'll be covering this topic in other articles soon.