Browse Definitions :
Definition

terms of service (ToS)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Terms of service (ToS) is a type of document stating details about what a service provider is responsible for as well as user obligations that must be adhered to for continuation of the service. Users that don’t follow the rules specified in a ToS are subject to termination. Many websites and applications publish their terms of service. 

Terms of service should include user rights and responsibilities. The ToS should also be transparent about all activities of the service that have significance for users, such as details of what the service does with user data as well as how the service maintains user privacy and security.

A ToS can specify what users can expect from the service so they cannot claim ignorance about something that they later object to. Similarly, specifying behaviors that will not be tolerated makes it easier for a service provider to get rid of problematic users, who otherwise might claim that they were unfairly terminated. Removing someone from a service that provides a channel to an audience is sometimes referred to as deplatforming.

Typically, ToS are presented to users for inspection, often in a pop-up, but the service provider may not require users to acknowledge having read them. In this case, continued use of the service is considered to constitute agreement to the terms. Even in cases where the user must claim to have read the terms of service, however, they frequently don’t because the documents tend to be long, and relevant details may not be prominently featured.

User rights groups recommend making terms of service more easily readable. One such initiative, ToS;DR, breaks down ToS for prominent websites and services.

This was last updated in September 2018

Continue Reading About terms of service (ToS)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • buffer underflow

    Buffer underflow, also known as buffer underrun or buffer underwrite, is a threat to data that typically occurs when the ...

  • digital signature

    A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital...

  • denial-of-service attack

    A denial-of-service attack is a security event that occurs when an attacker prevents legitimate users from accessing specific ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

SearchStorage

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is storage for noncritical data that does not need to be frequently accessed.

  • Pure Storage

    Pure Storage is a provider of enterprise data flash storage solutions designed to substitute for electromechanical disk arrays.

  • yobibyte (YiB)

    A yobibyte (YiB) is a unit of measure used to describe data capacity as part of the binary system of measuring computing and ...

Close