Virtually every time we sign up for a new service, compliance is required. It might be agreeing to a new iTunes update, letting Snapchat inform you of ongoing privacy policies (or lack thereof), or signing your life rights away your bank pin number. About every time we sign up for something new – or update our current services – we’re pretty much listing our names on the dotted line. If only metaphorically.
The problem, however, is that we’re rarely aware of what we’re actually signing. What rights we’re waiving and what can (legally) be done with personal information. Because, more often than not, we’re actually agreeing to terms that are above and beyond “normal” personal boundaries. But because we’re given an ultimatum – sign or surrender our abilities to use the app/platform/plug in at all – we give in. Besides, what are the actual possibilities of your personal rights being taken advantage, right?
In a perfect world, we’d simply decline. We would understand all that legal mumbo-jumbo and realize what was actually being asked of us. We’d see that Facebook Messenger was asking to access the camera at all times or that Snapchat actually stores photos, or how Spotify knows where you are, whether or not you’re using its services. And other degrees of creepy Big Brother shiz.
Yet that’s not the case. Instead, we agree. Because the alternative is not using services at all. In fact, not signing toward ridiculous terms would likely leave one with very few modern amenities. For instance, a lack of smartphone (maybe no cell phone at all), no email, and the inability to use any kind of social media. And that’s just for starters. Essentially, without signing our rights away, there would be very few modern-day platforms one could actually use.
Hopefully, those terms and conditions are simply there to protect companies’ best interest – not to spy on us at all hours of the day. The Truman Show style, just where everyone is being watched, not just an unsuspecting Jim Carey. But in the case where privacy is violated, and it’s “legal,” at least we can take comfort in knowing we’re not alone.