Did we really consent to this?

A new report discovered that the Ts and Cs of nine of the 10 surveyed apps required a tertiary level reading age, and on average, it would take one hour and 46 minutes to read. The authors think that young Australians need much better protection so that their data is processed and collected in the best interests of the child.

Apps popular among kids such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat have such technical terms of use that users need to have a university degree to understand the agreement, a new report by the not-for-profit charity Reset Australia has found.

The report, Did we really consent to this? Terms & Conditions ranks readability and how Terms and Conditions could be easily understood by children on video streaming, online gaming, messaging, and social media services.

When less and less of us are reading the Terms and Conditions of many apps we download how can we expect children and adolescents to read and understand them?

The report states that “Working with YouGov, we polled 400 16 and 17 year olds and found only 7% of young people are confident they understood the terms and conditions they have ‘accepted’, and only 4% read them all the time. Their reasons for confusion and avoiding them were largely due to the documents themselves, such as the length of T&Cs, the sheer number of document pages they are presented across and disengaging layout.”

“A strong code that protects children’s data would create requirements for service providers to ensure data isn’t used without clear consent, so T&Cs would have to be easy to read and understand. A similar data code has already been passed in the UK, and is on its way in Ireland.”

Read the full report here