Posted on 03-30-2013
I read your Terms of Service is one of the biggest lies on the Internet. We agree to terms of service for each and every service we use online, without ever reading and understanding exactly what we are agreeing to.
This is one of the most damaging aspects of online life, as through this process we are giving away our rights, ownership of our data and allowing for our privacy to be compromised each and every day. While not all services are abusing this, there are many online services that use this to their advantage, in an effort to maximize the amount of value they extract from their platform and end users.
Service providers have to go further in educating users about the terms of service they are agreeing to. There is a great example of this in action, via an article in NextWeb called “now THIS is how to write your startup’s Terms of Service”. The post showcases how real-time sharing platform Heello has provided plain english descriptions, next to each “legaleze” paragraph in their terms of service.
This is nothing new. You see it with other providers like Tumblr. But I think it is a very simple enhancement to API terms of service that can have a huge effect, and begin leading us in a more healthy direction when it comes to educating end-users about the TOS they are bound to. While companies need the protection of a legal terms of service, there is no reason you can't provide your end users with a translated, plain english version. It doesn't take much work, and really sets you apart from other API service providers.
Do you know of any other examples of online services going above and beyond to help educate end users about terms of service?
comments powered by Disqus
Winning in the API Economy
|Download as PDF|
Latest Blog Posts
- My Discussion Today With 6 Hypermedia Leaders At API-Craft in Detroit
- Getting To Know Jørn Wildt For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- Hypermedia Feels Like We Are Still Learning To Communicate With APIs
- Getting To Know Markus Lanthaler For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- Getting To Know Kevin Swiber For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- Getting To Know Steve Klabnik For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- New Indix API KickStart Program Reduces Costs For Developers
- Getting To Know Mike Kelly For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- A Shared, Distributed Experience(Metrics) Layer For The API Driven Application Stack
- Showcasing Your API Integrations With Other Platforms
- Increasing The Focus On APIs In Higher Education Is Important
- Getting To Know Mike Amundsen For The API Craft 2014 Detroit Hypermedia Panel
- The New StrongLoop API Server Provides A Look At Future Of API Deployment
- Models For API Driven Startups Built Around Public Data
- Will You Add Me To API Evangelist And How To Spot The Cool Kids
- When I Remix APIs Using Swagger How Do I Deal With Authentication Across Multiple APIs
- It Takes A Team Of Evangelists To Raise An API
- Support For Only Two Creative Commons Licenses In The API Commons
- Machine Readable Terms of Service Didn't Read Applied To APIs Via APIs.json
- API Deployment For Non-Developers Using Zapier, Google Docs, and APISpark
- State of Hypermedia Today @ API Craft In Detroit
- Need A Formal API Standard For Your Government Agency? Fork 18Fs, And Make It Your Own!
- CORS Makes Your API Portable And Remix-able
- Chief Data Officer Needs To Make The Department Of Commerce Developer Portal The Center Of API Economy
- An API Definition As The Truth In The API Contract