Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

I’ve blogged in the past about the (TOS)ification of society. This website is trying to help with the situation by labeling and ranking the Terms of Service for different services across the web.

As it says on their website: “Terms of service are often too long to read, but it’s important to understand what’s in them. Your rights online depend on them.” This website provides a summary of the TOS for major services like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia etc… and the strengths, weaknesses and overall score for each one.

I believe this service is a step in the right direction, however the challenge is keeping up with the ever changing nature of these Terms of Service. This website would benefit from notifying users of when significant changes are made to the TOS of services they are using.

Also, the website is ran by non-lawyers who have a disclaimer stating that you should not take any information on the website as legal advice. However, the website is really well done and maybe with a little more support they could get a few lawyers on the payroll.

This website is putting a little bit of power back in the user’s hands because they are now able to understand the TOS of the web services they are using without having to read through thousands of lines of legal nonsense.

However, the problem still remains that if you don’t agree with the Terms, you have no say in the matter. Unless there is a large revolt backed by the user base actively leaving the service, the balance of power is still in the web services’ favour.

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