When was the last time you read the Terms of Service before clicking the “I Agree” tick box?
Have you ever?
I recall, many years ago, starting to read one. Some sort of odd curiosity had kicked-in, I began to read, which turned into skimming, followed by a steady scroll. I stopped. Checked the box and agreed.
It was a short-lived curiosity.
I was no longer curious about the Terms of Service — it was clearly useless.
But it must not be too useless.
Nothing that’s useless is usually that long nor require regular updates that, at times, capture news headlines whereby someone can translate those lengthy Terms of Service that get us mildly upset, but never upset enough to stop agreeing.
At what point are Terms of Service completely useless?
I honestly think that time is, now.
Millions of us click to agree but have absolutely no idea what we are agreeing too nor understand most of what’s being laid out before us.
What if Terms of Service was presented in a way that most of us could fully understand and comprehended?
That would be pretty cool IMO.
Without jumping into Tin Foil Hat Land, it almost makes you wonder why these terms are so complicated, doesn’t it? What are they trying to hide?
Probably nothing. It has more to do with covering all your bases and not getting out-lawyered.
But just look how ridiculous these Terms of Service statements have become:
This image from designboom and accompanying quote outline the absurdity of it all:
“According to the designer, the average person reads at a rate of 200 words per minute while a standard ‘Terms of Service’ agreement contains 11,972 words which means that even if a user did attempt to read the terms before agreeing to them, it would take approximately 60 minutes.”
I would recommend you check out the designboom post. It explores this issue a little further and talks about this eye-opening art exhibit that clearly illustrates just how crazy this has all gotten.
Have Terms of Service gone too far?
If you ask me, I wouldn’t even hesitate to answer and would say: “I agree.”
[Top image via designboom]