Why NOT Reading Those License Agreements Can Be Hazardous

After the Ashley Madison breach, CNN read through the Ashley Madison license agreement.  Here are a few tidbits from their reading of the agreement.

1.  They can sell your personally identifiable information in connection with the sale of the business or sale of the assets.  If this was Facebook, we might not care.  If we are cheating on our spouse, we might.

2. You have to provide accurate information like name, age and financial information.  Of course, I am not sure that they have any way to know unless you mess up.

3. They cannot ensure the security or privacy of your information.  Nice.  How’s that for an out?  You have to give them all this truthful information but they don’t guarantee that we will protect it.

4. While they repeatedly say they won’t share your data with marketers, they don’t guarantee that they won’t disclose the information they collect “to third parties”.

5.  They say that they will not be liable to you for any damages – even if they disclose your private data.

You may have noticed that there have not been any lawsuits filed.   For one thing, they are not a U.S. company.  For another, given this agreement that their customers willingly signed, they did not breach any promises or make any lies.

The Federal Trade Commission likely does not have jurisdiction.  Unless they can be shown to have broken any U.S. or Canadian laws, they will likely get off scot-free.

Which is why reading those crappy license agreements might be more important than you think.

Information for this post came from CNN.

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