Whenever you start using a new product, you’re often presented with the terms of service, an often exceptionally lengthy document filled with language that even if you did try to read it all (we know you don’t) you probably wouldn’t understand what rights you were actually passing over. Terms of Service; Didn’t Read is a website and browser extension that helps you figure it all out.
It’s exactly what you think: The tool takes those terms of service that you didn’t read and breaks them down into short bullet points highlighting the main takeaways. The site also gives each service a rating between A and E, based on whether or not it thinks it’s a good idea for you to use, based on what the site is asking from you.
Twitter, for instance, is a “Class D” site—it has a very broad copyright licence on your content, uses third-party cookies, and reserves the right to disclose your personal information without notifying you, among other issues.
Github, on the other hand, scores a B because while your account can be suspended and data deleted at any time for any reason, the service also respects your browser’s Do Not Track headers, and keeps an archive of their terms of service so you can view changes over time.
The service has bullet-point versions of the terms of service for a significant number of sites and services; it only has ratings for a handful right now, however. Even major services like WhatsApp and PayPal are still rocking “No Class Yet” stickers. Google, YouTube, Amazon, and Soundcloud already have ratings.
Obviously, the best policy is to always read through the terms of service for any new site or service before you hand over your personal information. Realistically, however, if we all read through all the TOS docs for everything we used, we’d likely never finish. This is a great quick and dirty way to get the information you need to know to decide whether you want to use a product or opt for something else.