Surrendering Our Privacy One Click at a Time

by | Jun 3, 2019 | Cyber Security | 0 comments

Attorneys, just like everyone else, tend to scroll on down to the bottom of online and other digital agreements, click “agree” and proceed to hand over their credit card information, personal signature and general consent.  The vast majority of people do not read a single word of legal terms for good reason: these “deets” or “birdseed” as they are often called, are lengthy, boring and jam-packed with legalese hardly anyone without a JD can decipher.  One has to question whether we are clicking away our privacy and rights by merely clicking our mouses.


What Does Clicking “Agree” Actually Mean?

Clicking the “agree” box on digital forms indicates a legally-binding agreement with the specific terms and conditions of the agreement.  However, the failure to read these agreements in full is somewhat risky.  A single click has the potential to forfeit rights and spur a legally-binding agreement with myriad terms and conditions.


A Single Click can Surrender Your Privacy

Just about everyone agrees to terms and conditions without considering how such an agreement impacts privacy.  Click “agree” and you just might be surrendering your private information ranging from your Social Security number to credit card information and beyond.  Those annoying sales calls and spam emails that pop up in the ensuing days and weeks are likely the result of agreeing to the terms and conditions of such agreements.


Subscriptions and Subsequent Contact

Just about everyone receives an undesired newsletter, promotional material or spam call from time-to-time.  If you do not scroll down to the bottom of terms and agreements, emails and other legal documents, you are likely to be inundated with such correspondence.  Even if you did not intentionally sign up for newsletters and other communications, they will likely be transmitted to you simply because you made a purchase, joined a website or clicked “agree” on another legal document.


What can be Done to Prevent Undesired Communications and Protect Privacy?

Above all, attorneys should encourage their clients, family, friends and others to at least skim over the terms and conditions before clicking to agree.  Though it is unlikely anyone outside of the legal sphere will actually read every single word of these seemingly ubiquitous agreements, those who draft these documents can certainly help by limiting their length.  The attorneys who craft such legal agreements should also make an effort to use layman’s terms so everyday people can understand the rights they are forfeiting when clicking “agree” and/or signing their name in a digital manner.


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