“Click here if you have read and agree to the Terms of Service.” How many times in your life — heck, how many times just this month, or this year — have you hovered over that little ticky box without bothering to click the TOS link first? Or scrolled straight to the bottom of a pop-up window with 17 pages of boring legalese in it, just to continue installation? If your answer is anything other than “all the times,” you are in a very, very small minority.
Last year, a data breach of VTech’s Learning Lodge app store exposed personal information for millions of parents and children. While the company claims to have improved its security to prevent future hacks, it also looks like VTech has given itself a way out of liability for anything bad that might happen. [More]
How To Opt Out Of Getting Phone Calls, Texts From Pandora Under Music Service’s Updated Contact Policy
Proving that it’s always a good idea to thoroughly read any changes in a company’s terms of service, even if you really don’t want to because it’s just so many words, Pandora customers might be interested to know that they could be getting phone calls, text messages or even videoconferencing calls from the company in the future if they don’t opt out.
UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: It seems those numbers from AppData indicating that Instagram is leaking users aren’t quite all they’re cracked up to be. To that end, a spokeswoman for Instagram denies the app is losing users, saying in a statement: “We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram.” [More]
While many of us were hanging our stockings with care on Monday evening, Facebook and Instagram were facing a far less cheery Christmas present in the form of a proposed class action lawsuit filed in a federal court in California. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a little legal action against a ginormous social network, right? [More]
Microsoft Updates Service Agreement To Make It Easier To Read The New Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause
While we appreciate that Microsoft has made its online services agreement much easier to read, the update comes with a questionable addition: a shiny new mandatory binding arbitration clause with class action waiver. The clause states that you agree to settle any legal disputes (except intellectual property rights disputes) in either the small claims court in your county of residence or Microsoft’s, or through the arbitration procedure outlined in the agreement. Microsoft announced that this change was coming awhile back, and has already added similar language to its XBOX Live service.
You don’t always read the Terms of Service before accepting them. Not for hardware, not for software, not for websites. We’re fairly certain that no one ever does. (Someone out there, please prove us wrong.) What we really needed all along is a service that reads over all of that legal language and gives you the highlights of the ToS, then explains which features are good or are bad for you as a consumer. Now that service exists. It even has little pictures that tell you which parts of the ToS are good or bad. Meet ToS;DR.
It’s amazing what we agree to every day when we scroll through infinite screens of dense legalese to click the box that said we’ve read and agree to abide by the terms of service on various sites. Brandon discovered that Neftlix users have all consented for the company to stop its endless supply of movie and TV shows for any reason whatsoever.
Groupon is a daily deal sort of website, but the reason it’s on Consumerist today is because of how well it communicated some recent changes to its Terms of Service agreement. Consumerist reader Pureboy sent in a copy of the email he recently received where the website explained the changes in plain English, with examples.
Senator Charles Schumer is upset on your behalf over Facebook’s latest loosening of its privacy policies, and yesterday he called for the FTC to step in and provide some guidance, offering to introduce legislation if the agency feels it needs that extra authority. Specifically, Schumer wants three things: opt-out defaults should be switched to opt-in, sites should always disclose where the information is going, and there should be some general “guidelines for user privacy” that sites follow.
Mike says Citibank boosted his interest rate to 20 percent, then said they’d knock off half of it as long as he paid on time and charged at least $750 a month.
Steve says American Express sent him an off-putting letter letting him know it could refuse to authorize his charge at any time. He writes:
Today, Reps. Barney Frank and Carolyn Maloney are going to request that the implementation date for the rest of the Credit Card Act‘s rules be moved to December 1st of this year instead of February 2010, after seeing companies “jacking up their rates and doing other things to their customers in advance of the effective date” all summer, reports Mary Pilon at The Wall Street Journal.