Make us your home page
Instagram

Norwegians try to figure out how long it would it take to read phone app terms

Consumer rights advocates frequently urge smartphone users to check the terms and conditions of the apps they download.

But let's be honest: Who actually reads them?

A few Norwegians wanted to make a point and decided to publicly read aloud the terms of 33 apps in a live-streamed event hosted on their website. On average, Norwegians have 33 apps installed. But reading the terms of all of them took the activists more than 31 hours.

The campaign was organized by Norway's Consumer Council, which explained that it would have been easier and faster to read the New Testament.

Although some of the apps were specific to the Norwegian market (such as newspaper applications), apps popular in the United States, such as Netflix, Skype, Facebook or YouTube, were also included. Soundcloud and iTunes in particular stood out with their extraordinarily long terms and conditions.

Printed out, the terms added up to hundreds of pages.

"The average consumer could easily find themselves having to read more than 250,000 words of app terms and conditions," the council explained on its website. "For most people this is an impossible task, and consumers are effectively giving mobile apps free rein to do almost whatever they want."

"The current state of terms and conditions for digital services is bordering on the absurd. Their scope, length and complexity mean it is virtually impossible to make good and informed decisions," the council's digital policy director, Finn Myrstad, was quoted as saying.

After the 30-plus-hour live stream, the Norwegian consumer rights body urged app service providers to "cut back on the obvious" and to "write so that people understand."

Norwegians try to figure out how long it would it take to read phone app terms 05/30/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 30, 2016 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Target says customers want it to pause the Christmas creep

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Target says customers want it to pause the "Christmas creep." It says it wants to be more in tune with customers' mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.

     Target says customers want it to pause the "Christmas creep." It says it wants to be more in tune with customers' mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving. This is Target's new store in Manhattan's Herald Square that opened last week. 
[Kavita Kumar/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS]
  2. Tampa's Walter Investment Management restructuring, could file for bankruptcy

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Walter Investment Management Corp. is restructuring to cut down some of the mortgage firm's $700 million debt, Walter announced Friday night. The firm, according to its investor relations page, focuses on subprime and "other credit-challenged" mortgages.

    Walter Investment Management is restructuring to reduce its $700 million debt, the company announced late Friday. Pictured is Anthony Renzi. CEO. | [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  3. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  4. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  5. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times