Obviously, a service like Do Not Sign is never going to replace paying a lawyer to read over an important contract. (“I’m not saying that it’s going to be arguing in the High Court anytime soon,” Browder jokes.) But when even something as simple as a pair of wireless headphones comes with a lengthy license agreement for you to agree to, even a limited amount of information is better than blindly agreeing to a contract.
The philosopher Timothy Morton calls global warming a ‘hyperobject’: a thing that surrounds us, envelops and entangles us, but that is literally too big to see in its entirety.Page 77
The argument in the end is that with the rise of surveillance capitalism, we have moved over time from ‘we might use’ your data to ‘we will’ use your data, therefore making privacy policies seemingly null and void.
For more on privacy policies, Bill Fitzgerald argues that we need to move beyond compliance to focus on privacy:
The more we can ground these conversations [around privacy] in personal elements the better: what do you want to show? Why? How? Do you ever want to retract it?
Alternatively, Amy Collier provides the follow list to consider:
- Audit student data repositories and policies associated with third-party providers
- Have a standard and well-known policy about how to handle external inquiries for student data and information.
- Provide an audit of data to students who want to know what data is kept on them, how the data is kept, where it is kept, and who else has access.
- Have clear guidelines and regulations for how data is communicated and transmitted between offices.
- Take seriously the data policies of third-party vendors.
- Closely examine and rethink student-tracking protocols.
- Give students technological agency in interacting with the institution.
In regards to privacy policies associated with third-party vendors, Fitzgerald suggests looking for the following search words associated with consent: third party, affiliatuons, change, update and modify.
For a different approach, Amy Wang reports on the terms of services associated with Instagram. She also includes extracts from a lawyer, Jenny Afia, who rewrote the document in plain English. This is similar to Terms of Service, Didn’t Read, a site designed to not only summarise Terms of Services, but also highlight aspects to consider.
Amidst all the conversations about the importance of imparting information literacy and ‘digital citizenship’ skills to students, isn’t it time that we help them turn a more critical eye to the intellectual property and privacy provisions of commercial terms of service?
“Eligibility. You may use the Service only if you can form a binding contract with Canva, and only in compliance with this Agreement and all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules, and regulations. You must be 13 years old or older to use or access the Service, unless you are under 13 years old and your use of the Service is directly supervised by your parent or guardian or another authorized adult (e.g., a teacher) who agrees to be bound by this Agreement. Any use or access to the Service by anyone under 13 who is not directly supervised by an adult is strictly prohibited and in violation of this Agreement. The Service may not be available to any Users previously removed from the Service by Canva. By using the Service, you represent and warrant that you have the full right, power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to fully perform all of your obligations hereunder. You further represent and warrant that you are under no legal disability or contractual restriction that prevents you from entering into this Agreement.” Canva Terms of Service (Emphasis my own)
This is pretty vague. Who is responsible for the account? The teacher? The student?
Via Richard Byrne