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USA Today, Jan 28 2020 – What you need to know before clicking ‘I agree’ on that terms of service agreement or privacy policy

USA Today, Jan 28 2020 – What you need to know before clicking ‘I agree’ on that terms of service agreement or privacy policy

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We’ve all done it. We’re updating the operating system on our mobile phone or installing an app, and we lazily skim through the privacy policy or we don’t bother to read it at all before blindly clicking “I agree.”

Never mind that we are handing out our sensitive personal information to anyone who asks. A Deloitte survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers in 2017 found that 91% of people consent to terms of service without reading them. For younger people, ages 18-34, that rate was even higher: 97% did so.

ProPrivacy.com says the figure is even higher. The digital privacy group recently asked internet users to take a survey as part of a market research study for a $1 reward. The survey asked participants to agree to the terms and conditions, then tracked how many users clicked through to read them.

Those who clicked through were met with a lengthy user agreement. Buried in that agreement were mischievous clauses such as one that gives your mom permission to review your internet browsing history and another that hands over naming rights to your firstborn child.

Out of 100 people, 19 clicked through to the terms and conditions page, but only one person read it thoroughly enough to realize they’d be agreeing to grant drones access to the airspace over their home.

This isn’t the first time researchers have used trickery to drive the point home that few people read all the terms of service, privacy policies and other agreements that regularly pop up on their screens.

In 2016, two communication professors – Jonathan Obar of York University in Toronto and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch of the University of Connecticut – asked unsuspecting college students to join nonexistent social network NameDrop and agree to the terms of service. Those who did unwittingly gave NameDrop their firstborn children and agreed to have anything they shared on the service passed on to the National Security Agency.

Some companies reward customers who scour the small print. Last year, Georgia high school teacher Donelan Andrews won $10,000 for poring through the terms of the travel insurance policy she purchased for a trip to England. The Florida insurer, Squaremouth, offered the prize to the first person who emailed the company.

Read the full USA Today article online here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/01/28/not-reading-the-small-print-is-privacy-policy-fail/4565274002/