The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a new service that tracks changes in the terms and conditions for access to online services.
TOSBack will cover Google, eBay, Facebook and other major web sites, and alert companies and individuals to any changes in terms that may cause information security problems.
"Terms of service form the foundation of your relationship with social networking sites, online businesses and other internet communities, but most people become aware of these terms only when there's a problem," said EFF activism and technology manager Tim Jones.
"We created TOSBack to help consumers monitor terms of service for the web sites they use everyday, and show how the terms change over time."
Visitors to the site will be able to see 'before' and 'after' screen grabs of the terms and conditions so that they can compare and see highlighted changes.
TOSBack was prompted in part by the changes Facebook made to its terms and conditions in February, which caused a revolt among users and an eventual climb down by the company.
"Some changes to terms of service are good for consumers, and some are bad," said EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann.
"But internet users are increasingly trusting web sites with everything from their photos to their 'friends lists' to their calendar, and sometimes even their medical information. TOSBack will help consumers flag changes in the web sites they trust with their personal information."
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