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Terms and Privacy policies made easier with research at Texas A&M Central Texas

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 09:58:57-04

KILLEEN, Texas — "By clicking the sign up, you agree to our terms, privacy policy, and cookies policy."

This is a message most of us have seen when signing up for something online — the problem is, most of us don’t bother to read those long and confusing policies.

”Most people I know are like, 'I don’t need to read the terms and conditions',” said Moya McNeely, a student at Texas A&M Central Texas.

“If there’s something bad, the news will tell me. Which, you know — fair.”

”You need to read through all of these important elements that are written over here and how the information is share with the third parties,” said Dr. Lavanya Elluri, Asst. Prof. of CIS at Texas A&M Central Texas.

Dr. Elluri has been given a $170,000 research grant to make it more efficient for companies and easier to understand consumers.

”We want these rules to be summarized and shown over here in a few bullets,” said Dr. Elluri. “Like, if you are sharing your personal information, this is how it will be used.”

It’s a new idea that students on campus are excited about.

”Yeah, I think it needs to be much more transparent,” said Em Monks, a student at Texas A&M Central Texas.

"It's a lot of legalese you have to sift through.”

With smart devices, understanding these policies is more important than ever.

Even if you’re not looking something up but have an "Alexa" near or something of the sort, that microphone could still be picking up data without consumers realizing it.

This research is expected to take at least two years to complete, with an end result of making it easier for consumers to understand the policies and better protect personal information.