Social media users found signing up without reading fine print

Terms of Service (TOS) and privacy polices (PP) are perhaps some of the most loathed reading materials available. Have you ever clicked on that innocuous looking “I have read the terms and conditions” box without actually having done so? Take heart, for you are not alone. A new experiment, which involved researchers setting up a fictitious social media site called “NameDrop” revealed that 74% users opted to “quick join” NameDrop, without reading the privacy policy.

The authors of the study, Jonathan Obar of York University, and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch of University of Connecticut, surreptitiously sneaked in some “gotcha clauses” like the Rumpelstiltskin-like Herod clause, which 98% users missed. The study also found that yet another “gotcha clause” about user data being shared with the NSA and employers also went unnoticed.