Here’s How Long It Would Take to Read All the New Privacy Updates

Jonnathan Coleman
May 23, 2018 · 2 min read
Twitter’s GDPR updates

Unless you deleted all of your digital profiles, your inbox is likely littered with privacy updates from websites, apps, and social networks.

You’re receiving them because Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) go into effect this May 25th.

The 216-page regulations attempt to stop companies from collecting and using data without getting explicit consent from users.

Here are some key changes under GDPR:

Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters…

Companies will no longer be able to use long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese…

Organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater).

Companies with digital consumers aren’t exactly shook, but they’re obliged to update, so you’re seeing a ton of updates around the web.

Now imagine if you actually read them all…

Let’s imagine.

The average Internet user has seven social media profiles. The average smartphone user has 30 apps. The average person visits 89 websites a month.

Let’s keep it simple and say you’ve been affected by 10 privacy updates.

Facebook’s new policy is 4,135 words.

Twitter’s new policy is 5,011 words.

Google’s new policy is 3,980 words.

Snapchat’s new policy is 3,864 words.

Spotify’s new policy is 4,774 words.

Tinder’s new policy is 4,338 words.

LinkedIn’s new policy is 5,977 words.

Viber’s new policy is 5,022 words.

AirBnB’s new policy is 8,044 words.

Under Armour’s new policy is 8,582 words.

The total word count for these 10 policies is 53,727 words.

Hamlet and Macbeth combined equals 47,678 words.

The average American reads 250 words per minute.

It would take three and half hours to read just these 10 policies.

People use the Internet for a little more than three hours a day on average, so it would take an entire Internet day to read these 10 updates.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google actually increased their policies by an average of 1,300 words, even though GDPR bans “long illegible terms of conditions.”

The average word count for each policy is 5,372 words.

Each new privacy policy is a 20-minute read.

If you actually read 30 updates, you’d need 10 hours to finish them all. And that’s just the privacy policies. These companies have also updated their Terms of Use Agreements.

Since Americans read for 19 minutes a day on average, it could take a month to read them all.

A 2008 study found that it would take more than 200 hours to read all of the privacy policies for all the websites the average Internet user visits each year.

With the GDPR updates, it would take even longer.

Jonnathan Coleman

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