Terms of Service: Didn’t Read

Terms of Service: Didn’t Read aims at creating a transparent and peer-reviewed process to rate and analyse Terms of Service and Privacy Policies in order to create a rating from Class A to Class E.

There are two facets to the way TOSDR works. The first allows you to look up a website on tosdr.org to see how they stand out and what their terms of service mean. It’s all done through a small set of classifications:

  • Class A: are the best terms of services: they treat you fairly, respect your rights and will not abuse your data.
  • Class B: The terms of services are fair towards the user but they could be improved.
  • Class C: The terms of service are okay but some issues need your consideration.
  • Class D: The terms of service are very uneven or there are some important issues that need your attention.
  • Class E: The terms of service raise very serious concerns.

 

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Google? Class C. YouTube? Class D. DuckDuckGo? Class A. A quick search on TOS;DR for your web service of choice will display its Terms in plain English, and explain what parts cause concern. Negative points for Google include:

  • Google keeps your searches and other identifiable user information for an undefined period of time
  • Google can use your content for all their existing and future services
  • This service tracks you on other websites

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The other useful aspect of TOS;DR lies in its browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari, allowing you to view TOS;DR’s ratings for sites you are currently visiting.

 

TOS;DR is still a work in progress, therefore some Terms of Service are yet to be defined. Regardless, it’s still a great step towards breaking down website legalese into more understandable points.

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

About Jim

Jim Christian is the author of 'How to Code in Minecraft' and the forthcoming 'How to Think Like a Coder (Without Even Trying)'.

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