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Author Topic: When are modern Terms of Service going to change?  (Read 1404 times)
Josh
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« on: March 17, 2012, 02:43:01 PM »

I have been wondering this for a while. Many of the privacy policies, terms of service, usage policies, etc. are all painful to read. With the frequency that many of these are updated, one could read a new one every day with the amount of updates to these things. I would love to see some legislation passed that makes it a requirement to produce a SHORT, easy to read/understand, version of these items in order to alleviate the "click through" nature of these documents. Has one of these ever been used in a court case? I mean, I would fail to see how they could be upheld, if it were, since everyone just clicks accept to these things since they are so long.

What are your thoughts?
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steeladept
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 03:10:33 PM »

I think that is the point of making them so long.  To cover every possibility so the courts have to rule in their favor.  Remember, many/most of these are made by lawyers who's job is to protect against any possible lawsuits and clarify the owners stance on what is and is not acceptable.  So they do so in explicitly legal terms that are so long, only a lawyer will end up deciphering it.  As for you ignoring it, well that is up to you, but you clicked okay, so you are bound to it (supposedly).  I haven't seen any case where it has been tested however.

As for the law to be passed, well it never will.  Remember most politicians both in the US and abroad were lawyers first.  Why would they forsake their secondary profession on behalf of the people (as a whole - some individuals may).
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4wd
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 06:56:42 PM »

[Off Topic Warning]

To cover every possibility so the courts have to rule in their favor.

Reminds me of the X-Files episode, Je Souhaite, where Mulder finds the Jinn in the rug and asks for World peace and everyone else disappears.  So he ends up sitting down writing a multi-page wish in which all clauses/eventualities will be covered.
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Josh
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 07:12:39 PM »

Don't get me wrong. I understand that by clicking "I agree", I am "bound" to these terms. However, I really feel these TOS and privacy policies would never hold up if they were ever put to the test. I am all for reading what I've signed, but I really feel these things leave a lot in terms of user-friendliness.

Again, like 4wd, I am reminded of the "Human centiPad" episode of south park where Kyle agrees to be "surgically altered" because of his agreement to the iTunes TOS.
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db90h
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 06:54:48 PM »

In my mind, you can blame all the lawsuit happy aholes in the world for this 'problem'. If it were not for them, the Terms of Service could be simpler. However, due to the possibility of absurd lawsuits, lawyers must try to cover every conceivable base.
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Josh
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 08:10:11 PM »

I will agree there. Much of these long TOS "contracts" are due to the overly litigious society we live in. I would love to see them shortened, regardless. I think something like the "truth in lending", from the financial industry, page could easily be setup while leaving the current TOS in place. This would provide a summary of KEY components of the terms of service to alleviate the need to read over the 32 page TOS to find the two words they changed to cover some new base.
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db90h
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 08:23:35 PM »

Yea, but it has to be made into law, else the simplification of the TOS could lead to litigation (because it isn't 'complete' in every clause). If mandated by law, then the lawsuit happy person has no basis for their claim, or it would be rejected in court. Darn litigious and greedy people - often they want something for nothing, and if they think you have something, they'll try to take your something ;p. To them, all is fair so long as it nets them a personal gain. Greed, Greed is bad (no matter what you may have been taught ;p).
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IainB
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 05:55:07 PM »

December 22nd of 2013 at 0824hrs.
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