Connecting To The Internet – The Unseen Terms: Location Services and the Terms and Conditions Agreements – Should we be worrying about the possibility of the risks if we decide to overlook them?

When was the last time you read or at least took a quick look through the T&Cs agreement? If you are like me, you may not be interested in reading the full lengthy agreement, skipping, scrolling and searching for the “yes, I agree with the terms” to continue. Which, no doubt, is clearly a lie. This topic got me thinking – why am I ignoring these thousands of words? And am I making a mistake by doing this?

We are presented with these agreements all the time – when purchasing new software/hardware, on devices new or used, sometimes popping up every so often on our digital screens, asking if you agree with the T&C’s to continue to keep using their services. By now, I’ve realized if I want to continue to use services there will be an Agreement that comes along with it, and I have no choice than to say “yes I agree” or I’m clearly not getting any – no questions asked.

It doesn’t hurt to want to know more, be aware and understand what could be coming along with the agreement you are saying yes to. I mean, unless we read the terms and conditions, we really don’t know what the heck is going on – we can’t even try to pretend to know what is written in the agreement unless you fully read the T&Cs, which research shows not many do. It’s out there – did you know companies have done some pretty nasty things to some of their users and misused their data information? And some companies are still interested in sticking to their unbelievable T&Cs.

This is a problem, but there is not much we can do about it. The product we want is being dangled under our nose, under pressure – we are left with only two choices, and little time to read the lengthy agreement. And in some cases, agreements can change without any notice given. If you are saying yes to the unseen terms, users could be agreeing to things like losing the rights to data, while also agreeing with the unknown consequences (whatever they may be) in exchange for the use of these services. And you’re not alone – most of us aren’t inclined when it comes to reading legal documents, making it harder to understand what is being said in the agreement in the end.

Companies are required to be more transparent when it comes to their agreements, but with small changes to the conditions these agreements haven’t really gotten any easier to read and are quite difficult to understand. Companies know that the average person is unlikely to read their complex language and have gone as far as admitting that most of the T&Cs agreements are out there to discourage their users from reading them anyways. It’s definitely wrong, but not wrong enough to stop using services we depend on.

However, if you do decide to read the T&Cs it won’t be much of a help, even disappointing, and that’s because Terms and Conditions are too long! Due to the length of most agreements, they will require you to set some time aside just to use some basic services. But do the T&Cs language need to be so confusing, complicated, and long? I’m looking for a clearer and cleaner agreement – one we can all understand.

In other words, don’t worry about reading the bizarre T&Cs, because it’s pretty much pointless. I believe we all have different perspectives on this matter and I think that is because no one knows what to do. But one thing we may agree on is that these agreements really are something else and they are completely unreasonable. But, oh well, let’s hope when we are clicking and accepting the terms without reading them in the future, we can get out of unfair terms later if it happens to you.  Terms and conditions are important to have in this digital age for business and for individuals but I hope this system catches up with the digital age and one day it will be easier to fully comprehend terms and conditions of services for everyone.

Thank you for reading!

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