Whether it’s convenience, trust or simply the fear of missing out (FOMO), the fact is, most of us scroll to the bottom of an online agreement faster than you can say “send spam here.” And then we quickly click that little box: “I agree.”
Why is this, you ask? One of the best ways to find out is to hit the streets and ask real people. So, I did.
I had the privilege of being our “Bozeller on the Street” for an in-the-field research project. Did my interviews with random people confirm our suspicions? You’ll have to keep reading this issue of Thinking for that answer. But here’s an interesting takeaway:
I asked people if they ever read those long-winded terms and conditions. In regards to e-commerce, we asked if brand matters when it comes to handing over their personal information. And I asked people to be candid – do they forego security out of FOMO?
After asking men and women of varying ages and ethnicities a series of questions on internet security and privacy, I followed with one last query:
“Can you please sign this release form so we can use your answers, video images and voice for our article?”
Only 1 out of 4 people actually read the brief one-page document. And they all willingly signed it – even ones who maintained minutes earlier that they read all those terms and conditions. People claim that they are cautious, but are they just saving face? Or did they trust me because I have an honest face?
Maybe it’s my Midwest charm. Maybe I appear honorable. No idea, but I do know that the face of the internet can be deceiving, and when people don’t take action, it’s our corporate responsibility to protect them as much as we possibly can.