Why You Should Probably Read EULAs

Why You Should Probably Read EULAs


BusinessInsider is running a great piece on the upcoming movie ‘Terms and Conditions May Apply,’ this morning, which aims to highlight the importance of reading End User License Agreements (or EULAs).

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Alongside highlighting the devious ‘April Fools’ stunt online retailer GameStation pulled back in 2010, in which the company got 7,500 of its loyal online customers to legally agree to sell their souls, the publication goes on to detail Google‘s reported practices of ‘building profiles’ on its users based on their activity.

“Millions use it for storing photos, sending and receiving email, and as a social network. Since 2012 they’ve organized all of that data into massive files about individual users,” the publication writes.

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Meanwhile, it appears AOL really doesn’t mind you knowing the fact that it is collecting and compiling data on you. In 2006, the company publicly released a collection of user-data — and although the records released were considered “anonymous” at first — it didn’t take long for internet sleuths to figure out the real-life identity of some individual records, one of which was pretty disturbing and showed a user reportedly searching to ‘kill his wife’ — it later turned out that user was a writer for the crime television show, “Cold Case.”

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And then, there are those companies for which the term “too far” doesn’t feature in their vocabulary. This guy asked Facebook to send him all the information the company had on him. He later woke to a 1,200-page document sat on his doormat, the last few pages of which revealed that posts you delete on the network are actually just hidden from your view — “Facebook still has all of them backed up,” the report highlights.

This is not happening because the companies in question want to do it. This is happening because we allow it to happen. Data is the new product, and we are that data. We share it freely, (mostly) without thinking.

While I can’t personally vouch for the authenticity of the information shown in the following video, it’ll definitely get you thinking, given the recent reports on the NSA’s (alleged) activities … and Facebook’s former Security Chief reportedly having left the firm to go and work for the U.S-based security agency.

‘Submit’ or ‘Accept’ — these are phrases most of us see daily. But they have a different meaning to what you’ll find in the Oxford Concise Dictionary.

I’ll be honest with you, a while back I dropped about £40 and picked up a copy of Black’s Law Dictionary (Fourth Edition). It’s the most I have ever (and probably will ever) spend on a book. If you don’t have a version of Black’s Law Dictionary — get one, today. Reading through it will change your perspective on the world in which we now live.

For those unaware, it’s a glossary of “legalese” terms – the specialized language (or social dialect) of lawyers and legal documents. For example, End User License Agreements.

Many don’t fully understand (or stand under, them), because they were never taught to recognize them as ‘legal speak.’ Instead, most of us go about our day creating accounts and clicking “Accept,” “Submit” or “Proceed” without giving the action a second thought.

According to Black’s Law, ‘Submit’ and ‘Acceptance’ mean the following:

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In order for the system to change you must first fully understand(in the true sense and meaning of the word) – what you are agreeing to when you click “Accept” or “I Agree” on a EULA.

Here’s an extract from Apple’s iTunes EULA:

“By using the Licensed Application, you represent and warrant that you are not located in any such country or on any such list. You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture, or production of nuclear, missile, or chemical or biological weapons.

Terms and Conditions May Apply hit cinemas on July 12.

I urge you to go and watch it.


For the purpose of legal protection: The above is written for educational purposes only and should not be considered (or taken as) legal advice in any manner. I am not a lawyer, nor do I claim to know the full extents of the law, or the statutes and “legalese” phrases which accompany it.

The information above is provided based on third-party sources and is designed solely for you to make your own interpretations. It is expressly not written for the purpose of providing you with legal advice, or any legal course of action.