If you’ve ever signed up for an account at a site like Flickr or Amazon, you are familiar with terms of service and privacy policies. Every site you can create an account with has both. You can’t get an account without agreeing to them, but how many of us actually read them or pay attention to when they get changed? You know you probably should considering all the personal information you give the sites access to, but you just don’t have the time to read and digest all that technical language.
Well, the Electric Frontier Foundation has launched TOSBack.org, which monitors on a daily basis the terms of service, user agreements, and privacy policies of popular websites. Currently, TOSBack is tracking 44 policies, including Google, Facebook, eBay, Twitter, and YouTube. Every time a tracked site changes one of the user policies, TOSBack will post an update on its frontpage to let you know about the change.
For every update, there is a link to a TOSBack page showing a side-by-side comparison of the policy changes, or, the full text of the policy if it is for a new service. The side-by-side highlights what has been deleted and added so you can quickly assess the policy changes. If you’re interested in the policies of a specific site, you can use the side menu to filter updates by site or by highlighted policies. For those of you who want things even simpler, you can subscribe to TOSBack’s policy update posts via its RSS feed.