A few years ago, a security expert named Mikko Hyppönen set up free WiFi hotspots in the center of London. As part of the “terms of service,” Mikko put in a “Herod clause”. In exchange for WiFi, “the recipient agreed to assign their first born child to us for the duration of eternity”. Several people signed up.
Mikko’s point: “The biggest lie on the internet is ‘I have read and agree to the terms and conditions.’”
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that it would take 76 work days to actually read all of the privacy policies an average person agrees to in a year.
Those privacy policies and terms of service are under the spotlight right now. Between the Cambridge Analytica revelations and the May 25th GDPR deadline, we’re in an interesting period of soul searching on how marketers work with personal data. The default position of consumers is increasingly skepticism.
Here are a a few related cartoons I’ve draw over the years: