<p>TikTok asks for approval on a pretty hefty privacy agreement when signing up</p>

TikTok asks for approval on a pretty hefty privacy agreement when signing up

(Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

On average, how much time do you spend reading an app’s privacy policy?

Odds are, it’s not long enough. If you’re anything like us, you probably skim the overall policy, and accept the terms and conditions without remotely comprehending what you’re agreeing to. Therein lies the problem.

In a recent thread on Reddit, users were quick to notice a troubling concern with TikTok’s private policy - an app that has roughly 689 million active users worldwide.

The thread centers around an infographic highlighting the length of TikTok’s privacy policy, which takes roughly 57 minutes to fully digest. That’s far, far longer than any of its rivals.

The thread includes read times for additional apps such as Microsoft and Disney (9-10 minutes); Netflix, Spotify, Instagram and Facebook (17-18 minutes).

According to the illustration, an average person’s attention span lies somewhere between 9-10 seconds. The illustration relies on the theory that it takes an average person to read 250 words per minute.

If companies are creating privacy policies which go beyond a couple of minutes of focus, how are users supposed to fully grasp the terms they’re agreeing to?

It also doesn’t help that 99.9% of the time, these policies are difficult for the average American to understand. According to statistics gathered from Pew Research Center, half of internet users didn’t even know what a privacy policy was. That’s because a majority of these policies are written by lawyers for lawyers to protect the company.

This would explain the extensive amount of legal jargon that leaves users overwhelmed, and scrolling straight to the end.

What’s even more troubling is many of these companies are gathering immense amount of your personal data that can easily be shared online. The only way to fully protect yourself from becoming a victim to identity fraud is to take the time to fully read each company’s privacy policy, regardless how long it might take you.

Then again, if companies are deliberately catering their policies to trick you into accepting the terms without reading them, what are they hiding?

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