Terms of Service; Didn't Read: TOS Summaries

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 20, 2017

Terms of Service; Didn't Read is a free online service and browser extension that provides you with terms of service summaries.

Whenever you sign up for an online service, or install most software programs or applications on your devices, you agree to the terms of service of the developer, company or manufacturer.

The vast majority of users does not read terms of service but agrees to them without reading them. Reasons for that are manifold: from difficult to understand legal terminology and the sheer size of the documents to not caring about what a company may or may not do with your data.

Researchers calculated how much time the average person would spent reading terms of service, and they came up with 76 work days.

It is clear that the system is broken, in favor of companies that provide these services.

Terms of Service; Didn't Read

terms of service didnt read

Terms of Service; Didn't Read is a user rights initiative designed to "rate and label website terms & privacy policies".

Basically, what you get is a rated summary of a service's terms of service or privacy policy. YouTube gets a D for instance, Google a C, GitHub a B, and DuckDuckGo an A. The best rating is an A, the worst an E.

The service lists positive, negative and neutral points in a bullet list so that you may go through it in a matter of seconds instead of hours.

You may click on the "more details" link however for additional details on each item of the summary.

Terms of Service; Didn't Read lists popular services on its startpage. A search is provided to find services and websites of interest. While you find plenty of sites in the database, some of the world's most visited sites are not included. This is the case for eBay, Startpage, Archive.org, or Outlook for instance.

While you can use the service exclusively on the project's website, you may also download and install browser extensions instead. Extensions are provided for Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari at this point in time.

All are open source, and display a hint in the browser UI if a supported site is visited. A click on the icon displays the summary for that site. The Chrome extension displays a desktop notification on top of that if sites are visited that have received a bad rating.

Closing Words

Terms of Service; Didn't Read is not the first "summary" service but it has been available for years and is still actively maintained. Since it is a community project, anyone may submit new entries or modifications to the database.

Now You: How do you handle terms of service?

Terms of Service; Didn't Read: TOS Summaries
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Terms of Service; Didn't Read: TOS Summaries
Terms of Service; Didn't Read is a free online service and browser extension that provides you with terms of service summaries.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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