Every time you buy a new product or register on a website, you are prompted with a few pages of ‘terms of service’ agreements. When is the last time you actually read them before agreeing?
You aren’t alone.
You might be surprised at some of the things you are agreeing to when you click ‘agree.’ Here are some examples of terms that are often found in these ‘agreements’, courtesy of Time Magazine:
1. Your Photos May Be For Sale
Most photo-sharing apps and websites, such as Instagram and Facebook, reserve the right to publicly display your photos on the web. In 2011, Twitpic agreed to a deal with the World Entertainment Celebrity News Network that allowed them to sell any of your photos without crediting or compensating you.
2. You May Not Be Able To Delete Your Account
Many online websites such as Skype and WordPress do not allow you to delete your account. Why? No reason.
3. Companies Can Track Your Web Activities – Even After You Leave Their Site
A study by USA Today found that even if you are logged out of your Facebook account, they can still track you for 90 days using the “Like” or “Share” buttons found on most websites. Facebook doesn’t currently do anything with this data, but it’s actively seeking a way to make money off of it.
4. Your Data Can Be Given To Law Enforcement Without Your Knowledge
Most websites don’t have specific guidelines covering what they would do if the police came knocking. That’s because a lot of the times, they’ll hand it over without your consent.
5. You Can Be Banned From Filing Class Action Lawsuits
After a string of security breaches that left Playstation Network users fuming, Sony came out with new terms of service for the Playstation Network that banned users from grouping together and filing lawsuits against the tech company. Microsoft and AT&T have done the same in the past.
6. Even If You Delete Content, The Company May Hold Onto It
Even though you may regret posting that video or status, just deleting it from the website doesn’t mean it has disappeared. Most websites hold onto deleted data for several weeks in case of a “legal issue.”
7. Whether The Terms Are Fair Or Not, They Can Change At Any Time
Almost every website reserves the ability to change their terms of service at any time. Some services, such as Instagram, promise to inform you of any changes made to their terms. Others, like Yahoo, may never inform you.