Yahoo + AOL + Verizon Equals Oath [Better read the new TOS]
First, we’re not lawyers and don’t claim to be. We don’t know anymore about law than the next average Joe. But we have been a around a long time and we’ve learned to tell the difference between the elevator and the shaft.
Yahoo has long been (seemingly) lacking in its depth of concern for its users. Having fallen prey to the biggest breaches of all time, it’s really hard for us to trust anything they do.
We received a reminder email from Yahoo which is surprising since they spend a lot of words on telling you that Yahoo and AOL and Verizon are Oath. Do two losers + a winner = a winner?
Anyway, we are just sharing our thoughts on this with you. Again, we are NOT lawyers; we’ve never even spent a day in law school. If you’re a lawyer and you want to respond to this, keep it simple.
The “Our take”(s) in blue below are just us thinking out loud. The bolded, attention-getting red was added by us to catch your eye(s).
And you may see this in an entirely different light that we do. And you may come away with a more glittery impression of Yahoo/Oath/Verizon, than we have. Anyway – here is part of Yahoo’s (Oath’s) email:
In June 2017, Yahoo and AOL joined forces to create Oath, a media and technology company with a dynamic house of global brands, and a part of Verizon. It’s an exciting venture that we believe will bring a host of new innovations and digital experiences for our users. With Verizon, Oath can provide you with better experiences and services.
[Our take: They’re not really asking, they are demanding. If you don’t agree you won’t be able to use their services. Sounds like they’re going to improve services, but they’re just removing any facade of privacy.]
(review & agree button here -but removed by us.)
Terms of Service Updates Summary
We’ve added a mutual arbitration clause. Hopefully, disputes will never be an issue, but in the case of one, this allows a third-party arbitrator to help us resolve them. We’ve also added a class action waiver. These provisions are an important part of our relationship with you, so please read them carefully.
[Our take : This means you can’t sue them and no one can file a class action lawsuit against Verizon/Yahoo/Oath – if you have questions ask your legal adviser.]
We’ve specified the legal entity that provides each service to you. For some services, this may be a different entity than the entity that previously provided the service. We’ve also reserved the right to transfer the providing entity for each service in the future. General provisions that apply to billing, auto-renewal, and refunds have been added. Unless the additional terms for a service override the Terms of Service, these provisions apply to your use of our paid services.
[Our take: They can do just about anything they want and you can’t do a thing about it. Well you can do one thing – stop using their services.]
Applicability of Terms. If you are using our services on behalf of another account owner (e.g., as an administrator, consultant or analyst) or on behalf of a company, business or other entity, the Terms of Service apply to your activities and are binding on the account owner or entity.
Indemnity for Non-Personal Use. If you are using our Services on behalf of a company, business or other entity, or if you are using our Services for commercial purposes, we’ve added an indemnity provision, which requires you and the entity to protect us against certain legal actions.
[Our take: Ask a lawyer about this. It sounds like legalese (or just poorly written) designed to make you think you’re getting the elevator when you’re really getting shaft.]
We’ve updated our choice of law and forum provisions. New York law now governs and New York, New York is the designated forum.
We’ve made it more readable! We took care to make it easier for you to understand our services and our privacy practices.
We’ve updated how we collect and use data. We’ve updated some of the ways we collect and analyze user data in order to deliver services, content, and relevant advertising to you and protect against abuse. This includes:
Analyzing content and information (including emails, instant messages, posts, photos, attachments, and other communications)when you use our services. This allows us to deliver, personalize and develop relevant features, content, advertising and services.
Linking your activity on third-party sites and apps with information we have about youProviding anonymized and aggregated reports to other parties regarding user trends
We’ve joined Verizon. By joining Verizon, Oath and its affiliates may share the information we receive among Verizon.
[Our take: Huh?]
New information regarding personalization. We’ve included new information explaining how we combine data among our services and across your devices and Oath accounts. This allows us to provide more personalized content and services. We’ve updated user choices. We’ve provided additional information about your choices when using our services, and given you control in our Privacy Controls section….
[Our take: If you don’t agree with Oath’s new policy you can’t use their services. Keep in mind Yahoo was the only company to ever have over 1 billion accounts breached. ]