The cost of coming to terms

terms.jpg

 

by josh orter

I updated my iPhone to the latest iOS version last week. Doing so required that "I agree" to Terms and Conditions amounting to 6,114 words: more than 37% longer than The Constitution of the United States (4,447). Although hardcore legalese enthusiasts may curl up with this masterpiece before the fire, mug of hot cocoa in hand, it will be read by virtually no one else. I clicked immediately, blissfully ignorant of my acquiescence...

Or maybe not so blissful. I was, in fact, vaguely annoyed at having just blindly accepted what amounts to a 24-page term paper (12-pt Times Roman, double-spaced). What, then, would fully informed consent cost?

$482,894,368, as it turns out.

With various reputable sources suggesting an average reading speed of 300 words per minute, 6,114 words would suck up 20.38 minutes of life for each user. Multiply by the average American's hourly earnings of $24.09/hour (.4015/minute) and it's $8.18257 in labor per updater. 

A recently released study estimated Apple's share of the 145 million-unit American  smartphone market at 40.7%. 59 million iPhoners.

59,015,00 x $8.18257= $482,894,368

Perhaps more unsettling than money is the cumulative man-hours this particular endeavor would consume: 20-million. 

59,015,000 x users x 20.38 minutes per= 1,202,725,700 minutes= 20 million hours.

Perhaps it's best to stick with the quick click.

 

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