“Terms of Service”

The current uproar and backlash concerning the misuse of 50,000,000 Facebook profiles by Cambridge Analytica (founded by Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon, and billionaire Republican activist, Robert Mercer) and the Trump campaign have thrust the phrase “terms of service” into the spotlight. Terms of service are contractual provisions which typically contain the privacy policy of the company. You should read these provisions carefully before agreeing. If you agree to the terms of service, you are probably agreeing that your data can be shared, which will mean it can be collected, shared, sold and used for any number of devious, nefarious purposes, and you will have no recourse. If you don’t want your personal data shared, don’t use the service or, if you have a choice, make sure you check the privacy option.

The government is looking into what happened and how, but it is doubtful any helpful regulation will occur. In the meantime, protect yourself.

For an excellent discussion of this issue, see Chris Tomlinson’s article in the Houston Chronicle of March 21, 2018.


Photocredit: Edar