HELSINKI – A Norwegian consumers’ group took inspiration from “slow television” to produce a marathon webcast of a team of readers going through the fine print of terms and conditions of downloadable apps.
Finn Myrstad from the Norwegian Consumer Council says the idea was to point out the “absurdity” and even illegality of some of the conditions. The Runkeeper apologized to its 45 million users after the council revealed that it was tracking and sending user information to a third party even when not in use.
Myrstad said the team decided to read and analyze the small print of some 20 apps over six months, discovering that many of them broke the law.
“We got the idea from slow TV, and we wanted to expose the absurdity of the terms and conditions of when you download an app,” he told the AP. “You usually don’t read them because either too long or complicated, and many of them breach consumer law and data protection laws.”
The show began on Tuesday morning, with the team reading through the terms of around 30 popular apps. It ended 32 hours later. The council later tweeted a 12-second recap of the broadcast.
Norway has popularized “slow television,” putting five hours of knitting, a fire burning itself out and minute-by-minute salmon fishing live on TV.