You scroll through the content, what appears to be hours-worth of fine print. Do you stop you entire day to devote the time necessary to read through the content, knowing full-well you are going to fundamentally disagree with much of it? Or do you hold your nose and agree knowing you will receive instant gratification and access to your desired internet goal?
Unfortunately, web companies know they box you into a corner with these policies. They take this opportunity to gain your permission to all sorts of risk. Why do you think they made the page that long and confusing in the first place?
Most social media platforms are free to use but have buildings full of engineers, accountants, attorneys and executives; do THEY work for free? Certainly not. In fact, many internet-based companies generate revenue by selling your data.
The chief revenue generator for free websites is advertising. And the only thing more valuable to advertisers than people seeing it, is the RIGHT people seeing it. These sites track your data in order to learn about your preferences and, therefore, the applicability of particular ad content to you.
Ever wondered why the items in your Amazon wish list are being advertised on your Facebook feed? Wonder no longer.
Allowing a trusted site to have your personal browsing data isn’t inherently bad. But what about the sites or companies THEY provide it to? Do you trust those companies? Do you know who they are? Once you allow a company to sell and trade your data, you’ll never get it back.
That’s why we recommend that you read the entire document detailing terms and conditions to which you are agreeing before using a service.
Ok, Ok. We hear you saying, “Alright, I’ll read it… Quickly.”
If you are going to skim for the most important content, at least let us point you towards the most important sections to read in detail.
- Liability – It’s always good to understand what the company is attempting to absolve itself of, thus putting the responsibility on you.
- License Fees – Sure that services is “free,” but what areas of the service or application do you have access to that may cost you? Are these services metered by use?
- Privacy – What data are you authorizing this company to consider their own? Can they use your family’s vacation photos in their next television commercial? What about something more vital?