What Sort of Deal with Devil is the Terms of Service?

By Onyx Hunter
onyxhunter@gmail.com

 

Every time you open your iPhone or Android you have to abide by a contract. Of course it’s been a while since you agreed to it, but all the same it’s a contract. It’s the only sort of contract you’ll never read, your Terms of Service.

Terms of Service is an ugly little thing that most people tend to ignore, in fact it’s good for your time if you ignore it because every time you download a new app, buy a phone, and are not unlikely to boot up your car, you must agree to the terms of service.

Reading a Terms of Service is costly timewise, racking up 2 hours for some of the more friendly offenders.

Discord, a commonly used chatting application available on most platforms even has a stipulation for users to waive their rights to a class action lawsuit.

Illustration by Cindy Chan/The Guardsman

It is also illegal to impersonate or create a fictitious identity to deceive other users on most social media websites.

Notably twitter has new rules about impersonating someone else, however these guidelines are not in the terms of service. So as it stands do terms of service even respect us?

Trump’s Truth Social is notable in that there are concerns it violates Google Store’s terms of service, especially clauses about “Inciting violence” as of now it is still available to download. Truth Social also has terms that regard the Director and Employees as not responsible for the punitive or special damages against users because they used the application in one way or another.

Although I’m unsure what exactly this might entail, it concerns me chiefly that if I were to use Truth Social anything done to me directly or indirectly by an employee might be met without reprisal at least in civil court.

So where do the fun and games of not reading a Terms of Service stop. Well when I was younger I installed apps outside of the appstore on an iPad. Although I could never be positive about what rule I violated, for a time my device was unable to access iMessage services and other internet tools. But the experience was never harmful, I had a mostly functional iPad.

Cases of Terms of Service being used wrongfully are somewhat few and far between. The worst of it is Voided Warranties on a laptop, which might be a pain down the line but home repair needed to happen so you could knock out your finals by Sunday, or submit your financial report with Microsoft Excel. More often than not you’ll probably just have to hand it in to Apple or Microsoft for repair

What happens when your Laptop is two tonnes and has to be put on a wide load haul to get to the Geek Squad.

John Deere tractors are infamous for being difficult to repair because of their computers. John Deere machines are some of the latest in farming optimization, they are as efficient as they are prone to problems.

Farmers around the country who rely on John Deere tractors are left to hack their vehicles because much of the electronic diagnostics can only be found at John Deere facilities. Moving the tractors is a great deal of effort that costs thousands.

We often take technology for granted as means to more efficiently complete work and entertain ourselves, but it can also be an obstacle, one that could never have been predicted.

We rely on these tools everyday, can we trust the people who make them to be the arbitrators.

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