Yahoo + AOL + Verizon Equals Oath [Better read the new TOS]

By | June 27, 2018
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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:

Dear Member,

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.

As part of this collaboration, we’re asking all users of Oath owned sites and services to agree to the new unified Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which will help us continue to deliver and build on great digital experiences for you.

[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.]

Please take some time to review and agree to the new unified Terms of Service and Privacy Policy by clicking on the button below. If you have already agreed, no additional action is needed.

(review & agree button here -but removed by us.)

To help you understand some of the key updates, we’ve provided a summary below as well as a description of what tools are available to you to manage your data and experience within Oath’s house of brands. Please note that this summary is not exhaustive and we encourage you to review the updated versions of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Those terms and not this summary will govern your relationship with Oath. To learn more about our approach to privacy, click here.

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.

Privacy Policy Updates Summary

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?]

Learn more about Verizon’s privacy practices.

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. ]


9 thoughts on “Yahoo + AOL + Verizon Equals Oath [Better read the new TOS]

  1. Gina

    I’m laughing at myself right now (although I don’t feel very smart). I read the paragraph above stating “Privacy Policy Updates Summary”. I read it over 3 more times because I was confused and tried to make some sense out of it (I was tired, after all. I had a rough day)! Only AFTER doing this did I notice your comment saying, [Our take: Huh?]!!! At least now I don’t feel so dumb since it obviously WOULDN’T have made sense, even if I read it another 3 times! Thank you for this info. Although I was already familiar with AOL, Verizon and Yahoo!, I was not aware of “Oath”. So I, for one, do appreciate you breaking this down for us.

  2. Tom

    I’ve resisted many attempts to click ACCEPT and had no idea why.
    After your summary I now know.
    Thank you – I’ll wait to see what happens when they take action against me.
    Wondering how this stacks up against the new EU regulations as I’m in Europe

  3. Helen Arano

    I am still confused, is it safe to use aol or is google the best way to go?

  4. Helen Arano

    I am still confused, is it safe to use aol or is google the best way to go?
    I use gmail and aol, but would rather go with what you suggest as you have always
    led us down the safe path.

    1. infoave Post author

      Yahoo/AOL/Verizon is Oath. We are not saying that anything is better, we’re just saying that Oath is saying they can do anything they want with your data and you cannot sue them or stop them. We are not legal experts or lawyers. We do not believe that Google has a clause in their TOS that prevents you from filing a class action suit – but they may have one. You’ll need to ask a lawyer or someone who understands legalese better than I do 🙂

  5. sharon

    Thanks for your informative article. I have been with AOL for years and I have been wanting to cut ties with them, but I have my e-mail with them . My question, to keep it short, is there any application that would redirect my e-mail to my Gmail account so I could drop them all together? I guess I would have to go to the different sites and change my contact e-mail to Gmail. Nothing is ever easy. Would appreciate your thoughts on this problem. Thank you.

  6. JoninOz

    I swear an Oath that I ceased using Yahoo many moons ago., in cahoots with TC & EB who ‘suggested’ that people should steer clear of that organisation.

  7. Jason Miller

    First I found I can’t trust any politicians any longer. None of them. Then I find I can’t trust my ISP any longer.
    It seems that last two I can trust now are my wife and Thundercloud. Sometimes I’m actually glad my predicated life span is only another 15 years. My kids keep telling me not to worry. I’ll be out to lunch long before that. I wonder what they mean by that?


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