Tag Archive for Amazon

User Agreements : Selling your Soul

I watched him closely for a few minutes, trying to decide if I should even ask.  I’ve learned over the years that sometimes, I don’t want to know.  Really.  But he’d been studying the words on the screen for longer than I’ve ever seen him read anything that wasn’t printed on the back of a cereal box in bright colors. And when he laughed, I had to know what parallel universe had my 16 year-old son reading the fine print without a colorful picture in sight.  So…I asked.

“Whatcha reading?”  He placed a finger on the computer screen to hold his place like it was a book or something.  I suppressed a smirk.

A smirk that quickly morphed into shock when he answered, “The User Agreement for GameStation.”

“What?  You’re reading a User Agreement?  I can’t get you to read the notes I leave you on the fridge.  And …and why were you laughing?”   Turns out, he agreed to give his soul to GameStation that day.  No.  Seriously.  That was part of the ‘User Agreement.’  Read more

Why Privacy Matters

“How did you find me?”  I had to ask.  I felt like he at least owed me an answer since I had politely answered all of the questions he’d had about the car I had owned a few months earlier.  A car he recently bought from a used car dealer.

“I back-tracked the VIN number through the DMV website and found your information through the state’s online database.”  His response sent a wave of uneasiness through me.  This was no tech geek; he was an ordinary guy who worked in construction.  I was floored by how easily he was able to track me down.  I immediately began imagining what someone with even a little computer background could find out about me.  When I hung up the phone, I began a little digging of my own.  I was surprised at what I found.  Read more