I’ve just been prompted to update iTunes and have been asked to accept the new terms and conditions. Ok I thought, probably need to scan them to see what apple want me to sign away …
Then I scrolled to the bottom where it joyfully tells me this is page 1 of 34. Yes, 34 …
So, like every other page of terms and conditions I’ve ever read, I click “I agree” … Several times, knowing full well I have no idea what the say and have no intention of agreeing to them at all. Does our shrink wrapped licensed world really encourage such a blasé attitude to supposedly contractural arrangements? Yes, I’m afraid it does. And it will continue to do so whilst companies expect to produce terms and conditions designed to hide their intentions.
In fact I would suggest that apple deliberately present more pages than any one will read precisely knowing that they can say what they like.
It would be nice if a company was honest and presented sensible terms in a readable way so someone could honestly agree to them. In fact wouldn’t it be nice to have negotiable terms – so its not all or nothing, but actually a mutually beneficial arrangement, where you willingly, rather than grudgingly, give up data to benefit them in return for a benefit yourself.
Maybe one day we will see trusted brokering of personal data, but I suspect most will continue to ignore the control they could have over their data, and companies will continue to rely on deception, because that is what 34 pages of terms really is, to claim every thing from your content to your whereabouts to your social graph to your interest graph.
A free service Internet only seems possible whilst this one-way, parasitic relationship with our information exists. Sigh.