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Are you giving up the rights to your online photos?

by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 16 at 8:20 AM

HOUSTON—Most of us use the Internet without any concerns about “privacy policies” or “terms of service,” but did you know you could be giving up the rights to the photos you put online?

A new website makes it easy to understand the policies of various online services.

“Terms of Service: Didn’t Read” takes all the confusing black and white legal text you “must agree to” and simplifies it. From smartphone apps to social networks, you’ll know exactly what you’re signing up for.

A group of volunteers combed through the policies of the web’s most popular services, including Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and dozens of others. They then rated each of the websites on their terms of service: an “A” is good, but an “E” is bad.

While these volunteers are not lawyers, they stand behind their work, even providing summaries of what you’re signing up for.

The website gave Twitpic a rating of “E” because its policy allegedly says when you upload photos to Twitter using its service, they are the new owners of the photo and can even sell it out to other companies.

Speaking of Twitter, did you know even if you cancel your account, Twitter gets to keep all your data? Taking a look at Facebook, the TOS website says the social network does not have to inform you if the government is taking a look into your account.

Keep in mind this website is new, and policies are always changing, so not every website has a rating quite yet.

Check it out: http://tos-dr.info/

Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to Doug on Facebook (facebook.com/KHOUDougDelony) or Twitter (@DougDelonyKHOU)

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