Personal Privacy

99% of Online ‘Terms of Service’ Are Incomprehensible, According to New Study

The Infinite Brief
Two law professors analyzed the terms and conditions of 500 popular US websites and found that more than 99 percent of them were “unreadable,” far exceeding the reading level of most Americans.

According to the paper, published on SSRN (Social Science Research Network), the average readability level of the reviewed agreements was comparable to articles in academic journals.

Co-author Samuel Becher wrote, “While consumers are legally expected or presumed to read their contracts, businesses are not required to write readable ones.”

The study tested the documents using two well-established reading difficulty tests; the Flesch-Kincaid (F-K) test, which uses a formula to estimate the grade level required to understand the text, and the Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) test, which places the average sentence length and number of syllables into a formula to develop a score from 1 to 100.

Curated from Motherboard

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