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Spotify recently caused consternation amongst its users by rolling out a new privacy policy much more aggressive in its demands than the previous one. Spotify is far from the only tech company to take such liberties, which leads us to wonder whether any of you ever actually read privacy policies? Welcome to this week’s MakeUseOf Poll.

Shooting Smartphones

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “How Often Do You Take Photos With Your Smartphone?

Out of a total of 279 votes, 39.8% chose At Least Once a Week, 19% chose At Least Once a Month, 18.6% chose At Least Once a Day, 9.3% chose All Day, Every Day!, 7.5% chose At Least Once a Year, 3.2% chose I Don’t Own a Smartphone!, and 2.5% chose Never.

These results show how insanely common smartphone photography 6 Reasons Your Smartphone is the Best Camera You Own 6 Reasons Your Smartphone is the Best Camera You Own It might not be a digital SLR, but your smartphone is punching well above its weight when it comes to photography. The next time you go out, leave your old point and shoot at home. Read More is, with the vast majority of people taking at least one photo with their smartphone every month. Most of those admit to taking photos with their smartphone every week, with a healthy percentage partaking in this activity on a daily basis.

We really shouldn’t be surprised by this, as smartphones offer a simple and effective way to take photos at any and every opportunity. Prior to their invention, most people simply didn’t have that capacity, with very few people actively carrying their cameras around with them all the time. Barring professional photographers 4 Hard Truths About Professional Photography (And Solutions) 4 Hard Truths About Professional Photography (And Solutions) Do you want to start making money with your photography skills? Here are a handful of important considerations to make before taking that leap. Truth is, photography ain't easy. Read More , naturally.


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Comment of the Week

We received some great comments, including those from Peter Fitzsimmons, Joe Birch, and likefun butnot. Comment Of The Week goes to Mark “Mr. Marcus” Major, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment How Often Do You Take Photos With Your Smartphone? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Often Do You Take Photos With Your Smartphone? [MakeUseOf Poll] Taking photographs on a smartphone is an unusually universal activity, isn't it? Actually, we're not sure, but we do want to find out. Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More :

The fact that my cellphone is almost constantly with me and easier to get to than my other camera devices (ie: my tablet and my stand-alone “point n shoot” camera) makes it a no brainer to use for picture taking. If I’m planning on being somewhere where I know that I’ll be shooting photos well ahead of time then I may decide to use my camera. Still, the ease of auto back-up (cloud storage) and the editing tools now included with cellphones, it provides a compelling argument to leave the extra hardware behind and move about unencumbered by the added “bulk” the other devices can bring.

We chose this comment because it offers the most common sense approach to using smartphones for taking photos. These are devices we carry with us everywhere we go, they’re small enough to fit into a pocket, and yet they’re able to shoot high quality images. Smartphones may not be perfect How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life Your smartphone could be ruining your life, or at least have the capacity to do so in the future. Read More , but at least as far as on-the-fly photography goes, they’re an absolute Godsend.

Privacy Policy Particulars

Spotify has changed its privacy policy Amazon Kills Flash, Spotify Starts Stalking You... [Tech News Digest] Amazon Kills Flash, Spotify Starts Stalking You... [Tech News Digest] Amazon fires Flash, Spotify wants your data, test drive a new phone, HBO Now on Amazon Fire TV, Giphy Cam makes GIFs easier, and strangers play a real-life FPS on Chatroulette. Read More to give it much more scope to spy on what you’re doing while using the service. This went down about as well as a fart in a crowded elevator, and forced the company to issue an apology over the way the changes were implemented.

The new policy is not going away though, with the music streaming company adamant it needs access to your photos, contacts, and location information to help it tailor the service to your individual needs. This is a step too far for some, including Minecraft creator Markus Persson, who has promised to cancel his subscription as a direct result of the change in policy.

This led to us wondering how much attention MakeUseOf readers pay to privacy policies. Do you always read them, no matter how long and boring they may be? Do you skip past them, trusting there are laws preventing companies taking too many liberties? Please vote in the poll below to let us know.

Once you have voted in the poll above, please explain in the comments section below why you voted that way. Do you read through privacy policies and terms and conditions with an almost religious fervor? Do you just accept whatever changes tech companies Which Tech Company Do You Trust The Most? [MakeUseOf Poll] Which Tech Company Do You Trust The Most? [MakeUseOf Poll] Trust is an extremely important thing for businesses to gain and maintain. So, we want to know which tech company you trust the most, and why? Read More want to throw at you?

The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. The best comment of the week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we all meet back here again this time next week with a new question.

Image Credits: Perspecsys Photos via Flickr

  1. Cutler Cox
    August 24, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Honestly, I don't give a damn about my privacy. I won't give you bullshit about "nothing to hide" or "I'm an open book", I simply just don't care. I make a little cash selling my browsing data to google through Screenwise Trends, and call that good. Beyond that, I'm cool with them getting my data. Yes, they could probably track me. I only ensure that I don't have my identity stolen and report spam to gmail. If I like the convenience of something, I pay for it with privacy. I won't go off the grid, be worried about anything, or any other action.

    I don't care if a company sells my data. OH NO, THEY KNOW I LISTEN TO THIS MUSIC. I also don't block ads or cookies, because I like my ads to get more and more targeted to me. There is no reason for me to worry because I just don't care.

    Maybe I'm just lazy. Maybe I need to care. But, I don't.

    So, who wants to buy some of my data?

    • fcd76218
      August 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Would you give a damn if your data wound up in Ashley Madison database?

      • Cutler Cox
        August 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm

        Not really, seeing as I'm not only not married, but also I don't just give my email away. Data, sure see what I do in my free time, but my email only goes to my accounts. If it gets given away, I'd be surprised. But, like I said, I am not married, and could easily prove I wasn't a member.

  2. Leah C
    August 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I will admit I do not read privacy policies. While they all usually say the same thing, I could be selling my soul to some company without my knowledge.

  3. JessPotato
    August 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I'm in agreement with likefun - I'll spend more time on privacy policies on sites and services that I'm going to use more often. That being said, if it boils down to what information they can and can't have, they already know that I put cayenne pepper on my PB&Js and prefer chili chocolate, because every sweet needs a little spice. I hate the feeling of resignation that has come to accompany the tech privacy conundrum, but where is there left to be left alone? I love my pen and paper, but there's a camera for that - and a ton of apps.

  4. likefun butnot
    August 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Short answer is that it depends on the service and the frequency with which I expect to use it. I usually look at Google and Microsoft policies very closely because I use a lot of their services. Privacy on a site where I'm a quasi-anonymous commenter? Probably not so much.

    There have been a small number of times, such as Facebook's terms and conditions, where I declined to continue the sign-up process after reading the agreement.

  5. Apt Int
    August 24, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Read only sporadically, but did so when we got a Samsung SmartTV because they asked so many invasive questions during setup. The Samsung SmartTV EULAs and privacy statements were frightening, and we decided to opt out of most of the whiz-bang options offered. A few months later, we read articles about the scary things that were happening with people who had accepted everything offered. We generally opt out of anything but required communications from banks, credit cards, etc., but reading the EULAs for software and apps is an overwhelming task. When I do read, I usually scan, and I am rarely alarmed (except as noted above).

  6. A41202813GMAIL ..
    August 24, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Of Course Not.

    Why Would I Lose A Lot Of My Time, When There Are Friendly Lawyers In The Internet Willingly Giving You The Short Version, For Free ?


    • Richard Hopkins
      August 24, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Seems To Me You'd Waste Less Time Capitalising All The Words In What You Type. Chump.

      • Apt Int
        August 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        Hey Richard -- don't you have anything better to do than kicking people you don't know? Find some NICE or PRODUCTIVE way to spend that time and energy. It'll make you feel better than being a bully or a troll.

      • A41202813GMAIL ..
        August 25, 2015 at 5:36 am

        Do Not Worry, I Do Not Waste Any Time, Because It Is Just The Output Of A CHROME Extension.

        If You Do Not Agree With Me, Just Say So, And Stop Pretending To Be A Spell Check Cop.


  7. Darren Forster
    August 24, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I usually don't read privacy policies for the main thing that many years ago banks mis-sold PPI to many people by hiding the clauses in contracts. Because the contracts were drawn up in such a bad and unreadable way many people are now claiming their money back off the banks because it was considered unfair.

    Many privacy policies are in exactly the same boat, they are too long and too complicated to understand, besides they also can't breach various other laws either with their privacy policies like human rights or trading standards rules anyway, so most privacy policies aren't even worth the paper their printed on, also I have to wonder where it legal stands without any type of signature, just because "someone" has clicked "OK" on a computer screen where is the companies proof that the person who click ok is the one who owns that account, they could have left their account logged in and a kid has clicked ok, or someone could have made a fake account up for them and clicked ok.

    I don't know whether any privacy policy out there now would be valid in a court of law should something happen, it's most probably highly unlikely that it would be due to a number of issues, and then when it does happen all the companies will alter their privacy policies to ensure they don't get stung again and end up having to pay out loads in compensation to people that were affected.

  8. fcd76218
    August 23, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    "forced the company to issue an apologize over the way the changes were implemented. "
    I notice the apology is for "how" the policy was implemented, not that it "was" implemented.

    BTW, Dave - spell check is not enough when checking something you have written. You need to see if things make sense. The word in the quoted sentence should be "APOLOGY", not "apologize."

    I voted "Other". I do not bother reading the Privacy Policy statements because I assume that there will be no privacy, no matter what the statements say. Companies will do their darnest to, legally and/or illegally, gather as much private information about me as they can.

  9. jtjones66
    August 23, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    There are some good websites that decipher TOS documents.

    This is a good one:

  10. Mark “Mr. Marcus” Major
    August 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I admit it, I only scroll through T&C's (ELUAs) lookin' at the basics ( a subjective term depending upon the user), the biggest problem with that is you won't get to see it unless you've already purchased the product. It's a catch 22 imo...We've all seen it, windows that pop up before you install a new piece of software, full of legalese. To complete the install, you have to scroll through a dozen screens of dense text and then click an "I Agree" button.
    What I'm more concerned with however, is the probability of installing useless (again depending upon the user) 3rd party software or unwanted bulk-ware that comes attached to so many of today's software programs. Some give you the ability to remove or refuse them but sometimes the choice is cleverly "hidden". That's were the "bulk" of my concerns lay. I want a specific program and only that program, no additional search-engines, media-player, firewalls etc.
    I only want what I want and no more!

    • Darren Forster
      August 24, 2015 at 8:23 am

      actually if you read the terms and conditions it does normally state that if you don't agree to these terms and conditions please return the software unopened for a full refund, although to actually read the terms and conditions you've got to open the product - I agree that it is a bit of a catch 22 situation, now whether or not that would actually stand up in a court of law is questionable because it's forcing you to agree to the terms and conditions without giving you an option to read what your signing up for first and denying you a refund if you disagree with the terms and conditions. It would be like me going to a shop and buying a loaf of bread and the shop owner telling me that there are some terms and conditions in the bread wrapper, if I open the bread wrapper I must agree to the terms and conditions and also pay for the bread, and then opening the bread and reading the terms and conditions to find out that they state I must pay the shopkeeper 1 million for the bread - the shopkeeper wouldn't get his 1m, but if he did try and enforce the T&C's he'd probably be done using trading standards for unfair trading and possibly even done by the police for scamming people.

  11. Peter Fitzsimmons
    August 23, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    If there is a site or service that requires me to read the T&C's the chances are I am already committed to whatever it they want from me in order to use their product.

    I usually skim through the very small text in that tiny box that you have scroll through (not exactly user friendly in the first place) and keep an eye out for anything that may seem strange or un-required.

    90% seems to be legal speak indemnifying themselves from any damage or relinquishing responsibility for any loss of data etc... but sometimes, like with the recent Spotify update, there are things that stick out and scream out as something potentially dangerous or immoral (selling your data to 3rd parties etc)

    Over all though, if I want to use a service, I'm going to sign up. Somebody somewhere already has may data, knows where I live and what my favourite sandwich filling is so why pretend that I can keep out of the gaze of Big Brother.

    Ironically, my favourite sandwich filling is Spam.... hahaha.

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