If you don’t like reading deals of terms and conditions, you’re not alone. A new BBC article reveals that some of the T&Cs of favorite apps are longer than two of the first three Harry Potter books: Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban.
A total of 128,415 words are in the T&C of 13 typical applications, like Zoom, TikTok, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, and even Candy Crush. An ordinary English-speaking person reads up to 125 words in one minute. Hence, the total period for reading all these novel-length T&Cs is 17 hours and 5 minutes.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s word count is 76,944, to place it in context. There are 85,141 words from the Chamber of Secrets, and over 107,253 words from the Prisoner of Azkaban.
What apps are these?
Ironically, several of these applications address teenagers to adult teen consumers in the terms and conditions. Around 92 percent need approval from the microphone and video. If an average TikTok video is 15.6 seconds long, to have the same approximate time as it is to read its T&C, you would need to view at least 370 videos.
The majority of permissions are needed for Messenger and Facebook, including correct position, addresses, computer, microphone, and video. WhatsApp precedes the list with 42 licenses and Gmail with 41 licenses.
Often, a record of locations you have been can be set up with virtually most of these applications. That is something to think about if you haven’t read the terms and conditions.
Do people really read lengthy terms and conditons?
The short response is no. As a survey shows, at least 98 percent of American individuals don’t read terms and conditions. This might provide a huge workaround, especially with consent from the microphone and video.
Two communications academics, Jonathan Obar of York University in Toronto and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch of the University of Connecticut experimented in 2017, as the Guardian reported.
Approximately 543 students were asked to enter a modern social network, NameDrop. One of the terms and conditions allows them to use ‘NameDrop’ to call their potential offspring. About a quarter of the students looked at the agreements, and they could not really read them extensively.
“There is a strong risk that click-by-agree provisions are effectively eating consumer privacy laws,” David Hoffman told the Guardian. Hoffman is a lecturer at the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania.
That said, it’s up to us to take control of what we’re clicking on. Sure, it’s challenging to read a long T&C that needs a university-level reading ability. Even, we may always, as consumers, remove this access.