Jensen: I accept part of the terms and conditions

Derek Jensen

“I accept the terms and conditions.” This is the most popular choice we all make when signing up for something that is either free or paid.

The issue is that most of us don’t read the terms, and many free services like the ever popular Facebook have them.

A survey done this year by The Guardian shows just 7 percent of people read the full terms when buying a product or service online. Additionally, a fifth say they have suffered from not doing so. Whether it’s a free or paid product or service, we should start reading these words that are often ignored.

When I sign up for something, the last thing I want to do is prolong the time I spend away from my new experience by reading the boring terms and conditions. More people are likely to read every word when signing up for a new credit card than any other product or service. Paying attention to the details and any repercussions that might face us in terms of finances holds a close spot to most of us.

It is our responsibility to read the terms of anything we sign up for so that we are aware of anything that we might disagree with and wish to not partake in. These terms of service or disclaimers are put there to protect other users of the product or service along with the company behind that said product or service to gain or retain trust.

Did you know that if you have accepted the terms of service for Facebook, you have given them permission to actually own all of the content you share there?

It is certainly hard to deny or not accept the entire terms and conditions, because the results are not exciting or pleasing. If you don’t accept, you aren’t able to access anything for the reasons I’ve previously mentioned.

Since only 7 percent of people read the full terms and a fifth have suffered from not doing so, more attention needs to be put on reading and understanding all parts of the terms of service.

There needs to be a standard for the use of grouped terms of service. This would mean that if you didn’t agree with certain terms, those features would be disabled for you. I do believe there should be a threshold so that if you find yourself not agreeing with at least half the terms, then the service would be totally blocked from accessing your data.

“I accept part of the terms and additions.” This statement would enable all users to hopefully read the entire terms of service. Additionally it would let the company, providing the product or service, know what terms users are in a disagreement with.

These companies certainly want as many users as possible, but if they were aware of the responsibility that each user and the company hold to keep the product or service available, they would help fix this issue.

The reason for reformatting the terms of service agreement to include the word “part” is to not make it complicated on the business end. Instead, if a user should spend the time to read a lengthy document, they should have a right to disagree with some parts and still be able to use the service. 

I would feel better if I could check multiple checkboxes in different sections of the entire terms, even if I agreed with everything. This shows that I’ve read through the entire thing.

It’s a matter of responsibility versus just wanting to get through the door.