Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences Dedman College Research Faculty News Philosophy

How does it make any sense to click away our right to privacy?

The Hill

Originally Posted: February 27, 2020

Robert J. Howell is the chair of the Philosophy Department at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and is head of the SMU Technology, Society and Value Project.

There is little doubt that privacy clauses and terms of service agreements don’t support the moral burden they are meant to carry. All too often they are designed to provide political cover rather than to generate informed consent.

Not only does no one read them, but even if someone did and had the attention span and intelligence to follow them, it’s doubtful that they would find all the policies hidden in documents several clicks deep.

Interesting fact: If the average American actually read all the policies they encountered, they would lose 76 full workdays in the process. The cost to productivity, if all Americans were so conscientious, would approach $1 trillion. READ MORE