Nobody reads online Terms and Conditions.
But we have to accept them, and they do apply.
Why is this a problem?
"I have read and agree to the terms and conditions" is the "biggest lie on the Internet"
according to countless tweets and blog posts.
If you do not think that lying is problematic, how about the following consequences:
- Users get exploited
- Most agreements have been formulated only by providers, and therefore not protecting the interest of users.
Even if terms are fair, some users will regret having signed the agreement because they were expecting something else.
- Users get excluded
- Some users who do not want to accept an agreement they cannot understand or do not have the time to read will stay away from great services, thus reducing market size and contributing to the digital divide
- Limiting value
- Some users, not knowing the terms, will be restrictive in their use, and only get limited benefit from the services. How fun would a social network be if you didn't trust it with some personal data?
- Wasting time
- Some users spend a lot of time actually reading the agreements, and service providers spend time writing for almost nobody.
- Lessening competition
- Websites and other online services should be able to compete with great terms and agreements, but today that's hard because nobody has a clue what they agree to
- Eroding respect for contracts
- Some users may become less respectful of agreements in general, having ignored so many of them
CommonTerms wants to contribute to a solution!