Online privacy policies explained

The Zero Knowledge Foundation's explainer on privacy policies is a pretty good introduction to where the fine-print on the sites you read comes from, and the surprisingly meaningful differences between different privacy policies on different sites. It's easy to assume (as I usually do) that the average privacy policy says, "You have no privacy," but there's a lot of difference between the policies on Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter, say.

The Fine Print of Privacy | Zero Knowledge Privacy Foundation

(Thanks, Josh) Read the rest

GamersOptOut will send printed EULA opt-outs to game companies on your behalf

As game companies start to add conditions to their EULAs that prohibit class action suits for their negligence in handling your personal data, a collective of gamers called Gamers Opt Out have created a service that makes it easy to mail printed opt-outs from these conditions.

Individual lawsuits against game companies that harm their users through poor security practices are limited to those victims with the money and time to pursue them. Prohibiting class-action suits effectively kills the business model that consumer protection laws rely on: plaintiff-side attorneys who can recoup the millions it costs to sue companies for their transgressions and act as a check against corporate misdeeds.

Gamers Opt Out is a collective of gamers who are sick of absurd EULAs from game companies. These EULAs have clauses preventing class-action lawsuits, though you can opt out of the clauses by sending a letter. We want to make it easier for everyone to opt out because Sony, EA, et al, believe most people won't bother to. Let's show them they're wrong.

We will make it easy for you to create the letter needed to send to these companies and can even send the letter on your behalf at no cost. All we ask is that if you like what we are doing, spread the word or donate to help with the cost of paper and postage.

(via Wonderland) Read the rest

TOSAmend: turn all online "I Agree" buttons into negotiations

Kevin Owocki's TOSAmend is a provocative browser applet that allows you amend the (up-to-now) non-negotiable terms of service you had to "agree" to in order to access many services online. The applet causes your new terms of service to be submitted along with your "I agree" click, so that the provider can agree, disagree, or modify your terms and send them back, preserving the ages-old tradition of negotiation.

Here it falls to me to remind you of ReasonableAgreement.org, where you can get the text of my ReasonableAgreement:

READ CAREFULLY. By reading this, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

on stickers and t-shirts, sold at cost (I don't get anything from this, apart from a warm glow).

TOSAmend: The easy way to modify web service Terms of Service agreements

(via /.) Read the rest