This law could force Apple and others to make their terms of use legible

Wildly long terms of service that normal people don’t read – but usually agree to – have been used by technology companies, including Apple, for decades. Legislators have now introduced a new congressional law that would require websites, app creators and others to provide a section of TL; DR (too long; not read) in “easy-to-digest language” explaining terms as well as all “sensitive personal information they collect. “

Funny enough, the new TLDR bill is actually called the TLDR for “Service Conditioning, Design, and Readability,” but the mission is really for technology companies to provide a TL; DR section on terms of use and end-user license agreements.

According to The Hill, the bill was proposed in both the House and Senate, and the latter version was submitted by sensors Bill Cassidy (R-La.) And Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.). The law is expected to receive bipartisan support as it seeks to protect consumers.

Congresswoman Lori Trahan – who sponsored the House of Representatives version – shared fascinating statistics in today’s press release. It should be the average American 76 working days to read all the terms of use for the products used – and this is based on a study from 10 years ago.

A 2012 study found that the average American would need 76 working days to read contracts for the technology companies they use. However, due to the complicated language and the length of many documents on the terms of service, an the vast majorityuser “Agrees” without reading any part of the contract.

Trahan explained more about the TLDR law:

“For too long, general service contracts have forced consumers to either‘ agree ’to all of the company’s terms or to completely lose access to the website or app. No negotiations, no alternative and no right choice, “said Congresswoman Trahan, a member of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Trade. “To further tilt the decision in their favor, many companies design unnecessarily long and complicated contracts, knowing that users don’t have the bandwidth to read long legal documents when simply trying to send a message to a loved one or make a quick purchase. The potential for abuse is obvious, and some bad actors have decided to use these agreements to expand their control over users’ personal data and protect themselves from liability. This is a problem that transcends political parties and requires solutions such as the TLDR Act, which does the same by demanding transparency and restoring power to consumers. ”

Meanwhile, Senator Cassidy called the act “long overdue”:

“Users should not comb the pages of legal jargon in terms of website service to know how their data will be used,” Cassidy said. “Requiring companies to provide an easy-to-understand summary of their terms should be mandatory and long overdue.”

The full TLDR bill can be found here.

9to5Mac takes

There’s a bit of irony here because Apple made the move in 2020 and required iOS app developers to provide easy-to-understand privacy for Nutrition Labels apps that include data they collect, share, and more.

Apple was criticized for not being clear on whether it would adhere to the same standard for pre-installed iOS apps.

It eventually released privacy tags for all of its first-party apps, including a dedicated website for all of them a few months later.

Now the TLDR Act has the potential to force Apple to do what it did for iOS apps with its long ToS / EULAs for iOS, macOS, iCloud, etc.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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