Did You Read Those Terms and Conditions?

May 26, 2022

We’ve all done it. Downloaded an app, signed up for an online account, or visited a website, and then agreed to the cookies settings, privacy policy, or terms and conditions without taking the time to read them. We tell ourselves it doesn’t really matter, it’s just a heap of legal language that’s hard to understand and they all say the same thing anyway, right? Studies have shown that between 90% and 99% of people don’t read Privacy Policies or Terms and Conditions.

Why don’t we read the terms and conditions?

A 2012 study calculated that it would take 76 days to read all the Privacy Policies that you would encounter in a year! 

Does it really matter?

Yes, it does.  When you tick that box, you are agreeing to whatever is written in those Terms and Conditions and trusting that it will all be reasonable and fair. But that is not always the case. Things to look out for:

  • What the company can use your information for and who they may share it with – you could be agreeing for them to sell your personal information to other companies, or to make it publicly available.
  • Whether the company can track your online activity
  • How they will keep your data safe and secure
  • Whether there are opt-out clauses or settings that you can change to keep your information private

Helping children and young people understand what they are agreeing to.

If this is hard for adults, then it is even harder for children. Children use apps and internet resources just as adults do and their usage is increasing. In 2020, children spent 76% longer on social media than they did in 2019.  All these apps and services collect personal information. As adults, we can help by:

  • Taking the time to read Terms and Conditions and helping children and young people we spend time with to do the same
  • Sharing great examples of easy to understand Terms and Conditions
  • Complaining to companies about their terms and conditions when they are long or hard to understand. There is no reason why companies can’t simplify their T&Cs.

Mind Of My Own’s Terms and Conditions

At Mind Of My Own, we are committed to ensuring that children’s data is kept safe and private and to helping all our service users fully understand what information we collect about them and what will happen to that information.  That’s why our Privacy Policy is short, clear and easy to read.  And we include a shortened version with pictures to make it as easy to understand as possible.  Here’s part of the Words and Pictures version of our Privacy Policy: You can view our full written Privacy Policy here: Apps Users Privacy Policy – Mind Of My Own