U.S. lawmakers want terms of service summarized in plain language

Unless you’re a lawyer, there’s a good chance you’ve never read a website’s full terms of service. There is a simple reason for this. All too often, they are too long and difficult to analyze. Some services provide summary reports, but they are the exception, not the norm.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers made up of Representative Lori Trahan and Senators Bill Cassidy and Ben Ray Luján from Louisana and New Mexico want to change that. They introduced the – that’s TLDR for short. , the proposed legislation would require online businesses to include a “nutrition label” -type summary at the top of their terms of service agreements and make it easier for researchers to review contracts through the use of XML tags. It would also require them to disclose any recent data breaches, as well as whether a user can delete their data and how it would go about it.

“For too long, terms of service agreements have forced consumers to either ‘accept’ all of a company’s terms or lose access to a website or app altogether. No negotiation, no alternative and no real choice, ”said Representative Trahan. The group cites a who found that it would take 76 business days for an average American to read all of the terms of service contracts they agreed to use their favorite online services as the basis for TLDR need. If the law passed, it would empower the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to enforce it.

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