A digital rights group has created an automatic system for tracking changes to website terms and conditions and privacy policies. The tool is designed to help users of websites to keep up to date with their rights and obligations. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the digital rights advocacy group behind TOSBack.org, …
OK so far
But this is only part of the solution. The changes also need interpretation that the average user probably won't be doing. So we need some good blogs to analyse the changes as well.
Maybe then the small print shufflers would start to feel some heat. That'd definitely be a good thing.
@Ok so far (AC)
I might look into this.
The only issue with that scheme is that for interpretations to be made, often a situation must be provided. You can read black letter law all day long, but it's the application to circumstance which is important.
Without a specific situation to investigate, interpretation would be difficult in all but the most vague sense.
On half of the problem
Surely any change in T&Cs are unenforceable unless the user accepts them? Maybe in the US, but not the UK, it's not OK to say "You need to check the agreement regularly and your continued use of the facilities indicates your acceptance of it." Doesn't work that way.
I'm reminded of an early 'net court case where a person was able to register with a website without formally accepting the T&Cs. The court (I think it was European court) ruled that if you can skip the acceptance stage without confirming your acceptance then you can't be held to have accepted. Accept that!
FireFox plugin Please!
Should've been called The TOS Pot.
The relevant T&Cs are notorious for demanding your agreement to them /and any future modification thereof/ on signup. The only problem is that they make no great efforts to inform users of the changes as they are made.
This is very good stuff. Interpretation can and will (and does) follow across the blogosphere (and a certain theregister.co.uk is pretty good when it comes to this kind of news & analysis) — .we already have brains and a community, prompt notification was the only missing piece of the puzzle…
of course ...
... T&Cs are not _legally_ binding, are they?
They do say ignorance is bliss...
I found TOSback.org recently and, having expressed concern about Facebook's terse advice/small print in friend invitations previously, took the opportunity to review what members are advised about the invitation process.
On one hand I'm comforted that it's all quite legit but, on the other, I now know the full extent of the discrepancy involved ... and I'm not entirely sure which is worse.
Can some bright spark...
...please extend coverage to bookies?
Forever being shafted by the buggers as they change t&c regarding the various offers - still quids in really so can't moan too much :)
bbc.co.uk Terms & Conditions
How's this? If I read the news on the BBC's web site I am not allowed to use the imformation for commercial use. Consequenly, if I read that there's a fire locally, I would be breaching the terms if I evacuated my office. Barking!