That was quite a long article
With lots of links as well.
Any chance of TL:DR/Summary please?
Almost no one bothers to read the Terms of Service agreements on websites so a group of US lawmakers on Thursday proposed a bill to require that commercial websites and mobile apps translate their legalese into summaries that can be more easily read by people and by machines. The bill, titled the Terms-of-service Labeling, …
There is no need to get your coat. I fully agree with the sentiment. The article needs a concise summary. A point/bullet list.
Lets make it a summarizing presentation. No, not a slide show. A real presentation, with moderator and laugh track at the punchline. You know, that line with the bullet, there where your privacy gets stolen in clear unequivocal terms using very few yet very expensive words. You know, the kind of words you learn in law school.
This is going to be about as useful as the idiotic way the cookie notifications were implemented.
Like those it will give service operators another layer of obfuscation. It fails to address the provider rewriting the terms of service however they please, and with no clear guidance on what "clearly written" will mean, it will be another box checking exercise.
The only purpose of this bill to enable know nothings and do nothings to look busy while wasting others time and money.
The acceptance route could easily be padded out so that it is the same number of clicks as the reject route. "Is it January?" "Do you object to spam?" "Do insects have six legs?" "Congratulations you have accepted cookies".
One issue with rejecting cookies is the rather annoying continuation of being asked whether or not you want cookies every time you return. They could easily allow the "cookie rejection" cookie to be considered essential to operation and not rejectable, but then they wouldn't get to ask you over and over again...
It is instructive to consider who actually implemented them and why they chose to implement them in a particular way; EU 'cookie law' certainly didn't require the abusive ones we got, indeed, it required none at all as long as only strictly necessary cookies were used.
Nope, Apple's 'privacy' bullet points are uninformative and useless.
And a 50 page EULA can be simply disregarded. "On the advice of my attorney, I didn't read a word of that bullshit, I simply clicked the 'make it work' button that happened to be labeled 'agree', reciting 'I do not' beforehand."
Making the bullshit more 'readable' is not only pointless, it's counterproductive. As it is now, no one but a corporation with a legal department has any expectation that those things have been read, understood, or even remotely actually agreed to. Making them understandable makes things worse.
What's really needed is legislation banning most of the things those EULAs purport to do.
"What's really needed is legislation banning most of the things those EULAs purport to do."
Which will never happen as the companies and their teams of lawyers and influencers will lobby to make sure it never happens. Failing that, they'll back for changes in government to make it so.
Like, erm... the Advertising Standards Authority site (asa.org.uk)
A year ago I got hold of an XBox. For the kids naturally.
Last month we installed Need For Speed I think it was. I had to page through not one, but two very long documents before we got to the menu. Just pressing the down button without reading took me at least two minutes.
I think they did it that way because their game isn't very good. I have no idea as I left the controller to the kids and went and did something else.
Maybe they should make a game where you have to first read the Terms of Abuse followed by a quiz where you have to answer questions that pertain to the text you just read. Answer all the questions correctly and they won't sue you.
There should be a set of model contracts that are clearly written and fair to both customer and retailer/business. These would come with a logo like the BSI Kitemark.
Different contracts as there are different sorts of business.
The contracts would come with a schedule where the business could put things like: delivery times & charges; URLs; geographic restrictions.
One thing forbidden would be any change without further customer agreement - except, maybe, stuff in the schedule.
The current trope is that it would take about two and a half to three lifetimes to read all the legalese we encounter in our life, not understand the carefully crafted meaning, just to read through it all once.
So I do not see anything wrong with trimming that down to say a single day in total.
What company is going to use a contract that's written by people with a vested interest in it being fair to the user ? The people this is aimed at (as the article points out) RELY on users' ignorance of what they are signing up to. Lets face it, a TL;DR version of many of them would boil down to :
"You agree that we can collect any information about you, however and whenever we like, using fair and unfair methods (including deception by collecting information even though you have asked us not to and we appear to have agreed to that); we will warehouse that and link it with other information we gathered about you by both fair and unfair means; and we will monetise that information in whatever way we want, when we want. Furthermore, we will ignore any requests not to do so; and we will ignore any requests to delete that information. Lastly, you agree to illegally supply us with information about other people who have no contractual relationship with us which we will warehouse, cross reference, and misuse as above".
Because existing law probably favors the seller. Remember, they have the better lawyers...
Plus, consider that we may be too late for something like TLDR. Another angle the people up top are taking is the collective dumbing-down of the proles to the point of being nothing more than mindless drones mentally incompatible with any decent form of government or business...
Isn't that decree based on the assumption that the unwashed masses have any manner of free will, mental agency or autonomy? Or are even considered sentient?
For serious though, I always want to hope something nice will happen, but just can't shake this recurring image of wolves swathing swine with pearls....