Every day, Internet users entrust some of their valuable, sometimes confidential
information and data to services and websites -- without even checking the terms
and conditions associated with the use of those services.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
And, when you stop to read those terms and conditions, the results are more
than a little frightening!
Take for example Microsoft's
which makes huge claims about improving your security and keeping
your valuable information safe.
Yes, we're supposed to trust Microsoft to develop a system that will keep
our valuable data safe and secure. Remember -- this is the company which
not only can't produce a secure browser -- but also
can't even produce a patch that works properly!
Need more proof as to Microsoft's proven inattention to detail?
Netscape users see when they try clicking on a link titled "Passport Q&A."
Okay, testing with a competitor's product might be an anathema to Microsoft
but a vendor's failure to test properly and inattention to detail are a hacker's best
US Navy Plane To be Held To Ransom?|
As tensions increase between China and her neighbors, the
unexpected emergency landing of a US Navy surveillance
plan at one of its airports may seem like a gift from the
Find out more at 7amNews/ShockHorrorProbe...
But the biggest danger for users of this and other Microsoft sites might not
come from hackers -- but from the license you agree to when you choose to
use the service.
Assuming you're using an acceptable browser, the
page makes for interesting reading -- particularly the part under the heading
LICENSE TO MICROSOFT where you agree to allow MS the right to bend, fold
spindle or mutilate anything you send them for whatever purpose they choose.
Yes, the very act of sending stuff to Microsoft allows them to
"exploit any proprietary rights in such communication, including but not
limited to rights under copyright, trademark, service mark or patent laws
under any relevant jurisdiction".
What's more -- "No compensation will be paid with respect to
Microsoft's use of the materials contained within such communication."
Pretty frightening eh? Pretty ironic also that Microsoft, who are
increasing their anti-piracy efforts want you to give
them the rights to your intellectual property just for using their service.
Of course this license to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate doesn't apply to
your credit card details (I hope!) but only to other stuff you might send
them for whatever reason. Still -- it's a very onerous condition of use.
But what about other sites -- do they also want to steal your intellectual
property, copyrights, patents and whatever?
Yahoo's terms of service
at first appear a little more reasonable -- they want you
to hand over the keys to any images, audio or video you might upload to their
systems -- but you can withdraw their rights by removing the material in question.
This sounds fair -- they need to have a license to publish if you're going
to be making that material available through their system -- but only for
the period during which it's online.
However they then go on to say if you upload anything other than pictures,
sound and video, you're effectively granting Yahoo
"world-wide, royalty free and non-exclusive license(s)" and that this
license is a
"perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce,
modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display
such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into
other works in any format or medium now known or later developed."
I think you'll agree that it's time to go back and re-read the fine print
associated with any online services you might regularly use.
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