ToS;dr is a crowdsourced database of website terms of service; install the associate plugin and your browser will display a letter grade (from A to F) for every site you visit, with subcategories for things like data-retention and the rights the site asserts to your contributions.
It emerged from a conversation among attendees at the Chaos Communication Camp, who decided the answer to the fact that no one reads the fine-print was to spread the work around. They created the crowdsourced database in 2011; it's gone through various iterations and was moribund for a time, but was revitalized in 2016 with the addition of a wiki-like tool for collectively editing the database.
In his spare time, Talib has worked to create a more functional version of ToSDR. The biggest problem? There was no easy way to contribute to the site. If ToSDR was going to look like Wikipedia, it needed the equivalent of a software tool like Wikimedia. "We didn’t have software to make it easy to contribute," says Roy.
So Talib, along with programmer Madeline O'Leary, developed a platform called Phoenix, which makes it easy to submit and search information in the ToSDR database. In the new platform, you can quickly enter the service, the summary, the analysis, and the rating, along with a link to the original language in the terms of service agreement. Talib says he plans to introduce the platform to ToSDR next month—around the same time that the General Data Protection Regulation, a new standard for consumer data protections, goes into effect across the European Union.
Terms of Service; Didn't Read
Welcome to the Wikipedia for Terms of Service Agreements [Arielle Pardes/Wired]
The next installment in the SFinSF reading series features Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland; it's this Sunday, Jan 20, doors at 6, event at 6:30, $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds), at the The American Bookbinders Museum (355 Clementina).
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