Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Lesson Plan idea: Terms and Conditions

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

So of all the million things on my mind today, this is the one I will blog.

Lesson plan on Terms and Conditions

I remember a while ago Jade Davis wrote about something like that. On DML? Will link to it when I find it. Jade shared it. Here it is.

I read today Jason Jones writing about how Unroll.me, a tool i had never heard of, turned out to be selling people’s data to Uber

Then Christian Friedrich shared this post by co-founder of Unroll.me defending her co-founder from personal attacks, and in the process reminding us that tech folks really expect us to know what’s in the “terms and conditions” – if it’s free, we are data. We kinda know that (some of us) but it doesn’t really hit you all day long. Ok maybe Chris Gilliard, Kate Green and Audrey Watters think about it all day long. Maybe Autumm Caines and Paul Olivier-DeHayem Maybe they read Terms and Conditions of every little thing (I mean hey, turns out those little Facebook quizzes were used to collect data that resulted in voter profiling – i may share that article also). Who knows? I have a colleague who does. I probably should but I don’t, honestly. I don’t think Terms and Conditions are meant to be read and that’s their point. I might start trying, though.

Anyway, I shared the idea of using that post in a class before reading Terms and Conditions together with Jade Davis and a few others. Jade had the good idea to save article as PDF lest it be removed later. Smart academic!

And Christian then shared this podcast about Uber CEO which begs the (important) question – do we care who the ppl behind our apps are? Do we care about their ethics?

And i think of yesterday and Jim Groom. He was helping me out with some stuff related to my website. I told him shared hosting is such a big problem. I trust him and Tim and Reclaim (have finally had support from Meredith as well!) and Jim just took an hour of his day to help me sort out some stuff on my site. Which other hosting provider would do that? None, I assume.

I also had a small hypothes.is issue that would arise from the small change we made to my website. So I emailed them and Jon Udell got back to me immediately (well timezone-wise immediacy as in when he woke up) and told me they would do it.

Ok maybe those aren’t part of the lesson plan. Or maybe i tell those stories (I also like the Haikudeck guy but that’s another story. Not everyone builds relationships with their vendors or have relationships with vendors that precede their client status).

But I digress. Kind of. Coz we can read the hypothes.is terms and conditions which are honestly quite readable and how easy it is to sign up w/o giving away all ur data…vs reading, say iTunes terms and conditions. Or uhh Facebook. Who have simplified little mini courses to teach u how to manage ur privacy settings. And stuff

This all (searching for Jade’s article) led me to down a rabbit hole where i saw several great articles by her for my class so now I might ask her if it’s ok for my students to tweet her or something during the semester next fall.

One Comment

  1. Only Reclaim Hosting can scale the way we do is because we have a community that lifted us to the point we are now. If you fail to recognize that and pay it forward, you’ve lost your way—at least that’s how I see it.

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