Terms and Conditions

When you use an online service or app the most important thing for the users should be the terms and conditions followed by the product or service they are using. Sadly in reality terms and conditions are rarely in the thoughts of the user. The terms and conditions also contain details of the privacy policy which will state what information is taken from you and also how it is used.

terms-and-conditions morrisWhat most people did not realise until earlier this week, is that the terms and conditions can change, and if you wish to opt out of any revised terms and conditions you will also have to stop the online service or app. The moment when most people found out that terms and conditions can change is when Spotify became a big news story earlier this week

Spotify decided to update their privacy policy and it made headlines all around the world, resulting in unhappy users including Markus Persson, the founder of Minecraft who tweeted that he cancelled his account. Their updated privacy policy allowed Spotify to access more information than they should be allowed to. They now had access to their user’s photos, contacts, and GPS location and if any user did not agree to this, they could no longer use Spotify. Daniel Ek the CEO of Spotify issued a statement clarifying their updated privacy policy, but not everyone was satisfied with what he said.
Spotify tweet
What Spotify did is happening all the time, and most of the times it is not noticed as when users are faced with reading pages and pages of updated terms and conditions, human nature kicks in and nothing is read. The companies that develop the online services or apps are hoping this is the case as they can sell any data they glean from their users. When an online service or app is updated, new terms and conditions are issued if it is a major update, and this can include you giving away more access to personal and private data. The private and personal data being accessed can vary from your contacts list or photo’s on your phone through to tracking your location, and at times access to your phones microphone and camera.

If you don’t want to read pages and pages of terms and conditions, then your best option is to go online and Google a synopsis of them. You are bound to find someone who has done this and you can then decide if the terms and conditions are something that you can live with. If companies were more transparent then you would not have to do this, but companies will not do this as any data you give them can be sold elsewhere. Companies also tend to issue pages and pages of terms and conditions as they can hide things that they don’t want you to know. So next time you are faced with terms and conditions think carefully as you may not want your privacy invaded.