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Are You Being Besieged By Terms & Conditions Updates? This Is The Reason Why

Millions of Australian users of consumer electronics apps are being besieged by Companies “demanding” that they review new terms of service and privacy conditions.

The only problem is that some operators are using the updates to opt app users into other services by manipulating the small print.

The reason for the onslaught on terms updates is that the EU will introduce a new privacy law that gives Europeans new data protection rights and threatens giant fines for organisations that do not comply.

Facebook, is asking members to give explicit consent to new features such as facial recognition, this request was not in their original terms and conditions.

Brands such as Fitbit are taking an easy way out by claiming that if you continue to use their tracking products you have automatically accepted the new terms and conditions.

Digital rights campaign group Privacy International suggests that one way to handle the upgrade onslaught is to do a quick search of the terms and conditions.

For example, search the following terms:

‘Data providers’

The phrase may be mentioned in sections that explain what data is being collected and how that is achieved.

In particular, users should watch out for details of personal information being acquired from third parties that could let the services profile them in unexpected ways.

‘Location data’

The new law explicitly defines the places a person visits in their past and present as being a type of personal data for the first time.

Organisations are therefore required to detail how such information will be used to identify individuals.

‘Affirmative act’

When consent is required, it must now be given via a clear action.

The days of automatically signing up people to a marketing campaign because they did not untick a box are over.

But it’s worth double-checking how consent is being sought to avoid clicking a button without realising its consequences.

‘Controller’

Users based outside the EU should check where the entity is based. Facebook recently switched millions of its users out of the control of its Irish office, which means they will no longer be protected by the European watchdogs enforcing the new legislation.

‘Purposes’ and ‘Recipients’

These terms are often used to inform users what a business will do with their data and with whom they will share it.

Users can object to any decisions taken by app developers based solely on algorithms having analysed your personal data.

For instance, you can appeal against a decision to refuse you a job interview based solely on computer analysis of your CV.

You can also request a copy of the personal data being processed to make software-driven decisions.

The BBC has warned millions of Brits, to watch out for illegitimate enticements.

For example, Booking.com is offer free donuts for people who use their service.

“I saw on Twitter the other day somebody share an email… saying you’d get a free pizza if/when you consented,” commented Kate Bevan.

“That is a big fat nope – consent can’t be bundled with something else.”