TICKING THE BOX
“Ticking the box, ‘I have read and agree to the Terms,’ is the biggest lie on the web today.” -Dima Yarovinsky
People are getting increasingly aware of their data privacy, but there is a reason no one reads the terms of service agreements, as they’re never ending and nearly impossible to comprehend. According to designer Dima Yarovinsky, the average person reads at a rate of 200 words per minute, while a standard ‘terms of service’ agreement contains about 12k words. When you crunch the numbers this means that even if a user would attempt to read one entirely before ticking the box, it would take approximately 60 minutes. And if you try to read all privacy policies you come across, it takes about 76 full working days per year (go math!).
With the installation ‘I Agree’ by designer Dima Yarovinsky, he managed to visualize just how enormous the terms of service related to your social platforms is when printed out.
Because of data privacy regulations in Europe, tech companies are revisiting their terms of service and updating their privacy policies to meet the law’s new standards. In times where there are more ‘data-transactions’ than ever before, we see a shift towards more awareness of privacy issues and the importance to people to actually understand what companies are doing with their data.
We live what we call an inline lifestyle nowadays, our physical and virtual worlds are merging and it’s hard for people to disconnect completely from their social media. While the awareness for privacy issues is rising, we also see the need of people craving to go off the grid. But let’s be honest… did you delete your Facebook account as a result of the privacy violations? The answer is probably no and you’re not the only one, as consumer behavior is very paradoxical when it comes to data usage.
Artists like Yarovinsky are raising awareness with projects like I Agree, but how would you feel when companies themselves would try to help you understand the policies more clearly? Would you trust them? Do you even care? Or in the end… do you still tick the box when you’re in ‘dire need’ the free app?