Blog Posts #10 – Who Owns Your Education Data

"I have read and agree to the Terms of Service," is in fact the biggest lie on the internet.  The terms and conditions of many online websites, applications, school sites and other things have always been overlooked by many, let alone skimmed through.  People unknowingly can be agreeing to give away all of their  information that they post without even knowing because of how tedious it can be to read and understand the extensive terms of conditions of many sites.  The simplification for quick understanding of terms and conditions could greatly help those who would be unaware of what they are signing.  Personally i have only read through maybe a third of a Terms and Conditions from anything in my life simply because i knew what i wanted to do within the app but found it too tedious and time consuming to actually read the whole thing.

In the crowdsourced project TOS;DR, i found it very interesting what the terms of service were for major websites and how they could keep and use your personal browsing info for multiple purposes.  After going over multiple reviews of websites like youtube, Facebook, twitpic, and Skype it makes me think twie about joining sites like that simply because you ultimately have no control over anything.  For example the three companies i just stated have the ability to change their terms whenever they want without notification which is very troubling.  Also when you delete things you may not be able to see them but the company running the site will still and always have information or evidence of what you deleted, which i believe is not very good.  Some applications such as Skype will not allow you to delete your account after it has been created.  It will always be there in some way.

Things like that make me feel that it would be a good choice to allow the user to interact and negotiate with the terms and conditions of using a site or app, ESPECIALLY if changes are being made.  I would not appreciate it if i was using a educational technology such as D2L/Brightspace and long after I'm finish using it an outside party would be able to view my browsing.  I strongly believe that there should be  laws to set limits on what terms of service all web apps providers can require.  The most important thing is that users of these apps need to pay closer attention and educate their selves on the terms of service of the web apps they are using. Paying attention to fine print is the way to go after researching this topic.

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