Image credits: David Mirzoeff 2017
When you buy a new digital service, do you read the terms and conditions before clicking ‘I agree’? How long do you think it would it take if you did? Amazon’s Kindle is an example of a new economy in which the products we ‘own’ are only as good as the services we rent from them. We exchange our personal information for products that we merely rent temporarily – like your Spotify playlist or your iTunes library. In this video, Australian consumer advocacy group Choice hired an actor to read all 73,198 words of Amazon Kindle’s Terms and Conditions. At a length of 8 hours and 59 minutes, the video illustrates exactly how much time you would give up to fully understand what you are agreeing to in those pages of legal explanations. What meaning can these kinds of user agreements – which we sign as a pathway to attaining services – have for us if they are too lengthy and dense for most consumers to read or understand?