Do you fully read the terms and conditions before ticking the check box and accepting it? You really should because more than 22,000 people in Europe just unknowingly signed up for menial labor just to be able to check social media, look up something on Google, or maybe find directions.

A Manchester-based Wi-Fi hotspot company called Purple inserted a “Community Service Clause” into its terms of service agreement. This additional clause states that anyone who accepts it is required to do 1,000 hours of community service. According to their blog post, this includes the following:

  • Cleansing local parks of animal waste
  • Providing hugs to stray cats and dogs
  • Manually relieving sewer blockages
  • Cleaning portable lavatories at local festivals and events
  • Painting snail shells to brighten up their existence
  • Scraping chewing gum off the streets

While a number of innocent free Wi-Fi users agreed to this, Purple said that they don’t plan to push it (thankfully!). All users were in for a prize if they pointed out the unusual terms, but only one flagged it up. That’s 0.000045 percent of the total users who agreed to it.

Do not fear as it’s just a campaign to raise awareness about properly reading the terms of service, and also a stunt to announce that they are the first Wi-Fi provider in Europe to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation. The GPDR guidelines were created to simplify terms and conditions and provide transparency about the use of personal data.

The GPDR guidelines are only applicable for countries that are members of the European Union.

So, the next time you connect to a free Wi-Fi service, or any free service that wants your personal data in exchange, think twice. Or maybe, read the fine print first.

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Image credit: Clean Delaware

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