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Security & privacy

Sick of sites taking your data? See if you can beat this anti-tracking game

The digital age is blessed and cursed with an abundance of information. The brain cannot hope to process everything that goes by as you click and scroll through websites, apps and services.

The thing is, you might miss something important. The fine print could lead to big consequences, such as relinquishing your personal information and data. All hope is not lost, however, as there is an extension that could help with that. Tap or click here for ways to spot fine-print gotchas.

There are many hoops to jump through on the internet, from TOS to cookies, newsletter signups, notifications, virtual chat assistants and more. Someone had enough and turned it all into a game. Does that sound fun? Read on and give it a shot!

Yes or no?

“Terms & Conditions Apply” is a game inspired by Dark Patterns or tricks used by sites and apps to make you do things you didn’t intend to. The game creator was inspired by the dark patterns subreddit. He adds that some tricks were made up and added in, though it might be hard to distinguish fiction from reality regarding this sort of thing.

Your mission is to battle Evil Corp, which wants to steal all your data! The game’s introduction screen advises you not to accept any terms and conditions, say no to all notifications and always opt out of cookies. The game is free to play and doesn’t require any information from you. This is unlike most free trials, which you have to watch out for.

When it’s not a game

Look for these tricks when browsing the web or signing up for something. There are plenty more out there besides these:

  • Ads disguised as helpful tools or links.
  • An item is snuck into your cart before checkout without your consent.
  • Questions may look harmless at first but have just one or two small additions that change the meaning entirely.
  • Hidden costs and fees. Always double-check all the numbers before making a payment.
  • A subscription can auto-renew without your knowledge.
  • Push notifications that continually try to grab more information or payment out of you.

Visit termsandconditions.game to give the game a shot. How far can you get?

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