2007-01-02

Click "I Agree" To Proceed...

Okay, this is just getting under my skin. I "sign" agreements all the time, every day. You do to. I agree to things I never read. You do that too. Everyone does it. All the time.

I'm talking about EULAs, ToSs, T&C's, and, of course, "privacy policies". What is this stuff? Well, the end-user license agreement, or EULA, tells you what you can and can't do with a piece of software you're about to install, and it probably mentions anything shady that the software is about to do. Why be so upfront? You're not going to read it, and it absolves them legally. Unfortunately, perfectly legitimate software has EULAs too, and it's too hard to figure out which is which that way.

Terms of Service, or ToS, are what service providers, like ISPs and web hosts and such, use to lay down the litany of things which are, should they unfortunately occur, not in any way their problem. It also likely details the things which you are not, under any circumstances, to do with the service in question, regardless of whether it might seem like a perfectly viable use to you or the general public.

Terms and Conditions, or T&Cs, are usually required right before you sign up for something, like internet or cell phone service. Again, this often outlines exactly what you're not to do with the service, and exactly how much it would cost you if you did.

Privacy policies are my favorite one of all. Why? Because most of the time, you aren't actually agreeing to the privacy policy. You're just required to read it. I find this odd - typically, a company requires their employees to know their policies, not their customers. I find this particularly frightening since the only reason I'd be required to know about it is if there's something shady in there.

Of course, just like you, I still check the box and click the button and make my merry way toward whatever courtroom doom might befall me.

Click "I Agree" to proceed.
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