Terms of Service

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The terms of service of a website are also known as a website’s terms and conditions. Each website is legally obliged to post its terms of service, and every user who goes to that website is bound by the terms of service. If you are going to an interactive website, it is important to read the terms of service to make sure you agree with them before giving the website any personal data.

The Basics Of A Terms Of Service Agreement

Websites that collect data or sell goods or services are required to have a terms of service agreement. Since almost every website collects some sort of data, you can expect every website to have an agreement. Unlike a privacy policy that is not necessarily binding, a terms of service agreement is fully binding on both sides. However, the website is allowed to change its terms of service at any time, for any reason and without notice.

The Components Of A Terms Of Service Agreement

A terms of service agreement can be extremely complicated and have many different elements. In a terms of service agreement you will find the definition of terms for the website, accountability terms for all online behavior, all policies on the collection and use of personal information, information on payment terms, the opt-out policy for marketing emails and terms of arbitration for disputes.

Legal Problems

Since a terms of conditions agreement is legally binding on both sides, there are often problems when websites are found to be in violation of their terms and conditions. One of the most famous instances occurred when AOL was found to be selling user data in violation of its terms of service. But since a terms of service agreement can be changed without warning, most companies will simply alter their terms of service to accommodate their activity if they are found to be in violation of the agreement.

Reading The Terms Of Service

Apple became famous in the early 2000s for having such a long terms of service agreement that it became well-known that almost no one read the agreement. While the length of agreements has not changed much, consumers are becoming more savvy about agreements and are spending the time to read them before agreeing to the terms.

The moment you land on a website, you are bound by that website’s terms of service agreement. It is always a good idea to read this agreement in full before agreeing to buy any products or purchase any service from a website.