Twitter and Facebook told to simplify their privacy terms

Social Media
Do you know what you sign up for when joining a website?

The UK Government's Science and Technology Committee has warned social media websites that their terms and conditions are too labyrinthine, and therefore not fit for demonstrating that users have given informed consent of how the companies use their data.

The committee is pushing for the Government to work with the Information Commissioner to set up a number of information standards for websites and apps to sign up to.

This would mean social media websites and apps would be committed to explain how they use personal data in clear, concise and simple terns.

Tick if you agree

We've all been there. We've signed up for a website, or downloaded an app, and been confronted by a long and confusing terms and conditions document. Rather than having to read through the wall of jargon we skip to the end and click 'Agree'.

Unfortunately this often means we're agreeing to websites and apps accessing information that we might not want them to.

The UK government may now be looking at ways to force companies to be more transparent about the data they collect from their users, along with how they use it. At the moment the rules will be voluntary, but if needed the Government might be forced to enshrine them in law.

But will companies sign up for these new rules? Science and Technology Committee Chair, Andrew Miller MP thinks they will.

He said: "Socially responsible companies wouldn't want to bamboozle their users, of course, so we are sure most social media developers will be happy to sign up to the new guidelines on clear communication and informed consent that we are asking the Government to draw up."

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.