What Kind of Monsters Would Forfeit Their Kids for Free Wi-Fi?
Blindly agreeing to a jargon-filled Terms of Service without reading it is a fairly common occurrence. But one security firm’s latest experiment might make you reconsider that decision.
In Canada Square, London, the security firm F-Secure set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot for everyone — given their agreement to a lengthy terms of service. Hidden within the terms of service was a “Herod clause” stating the user could enjoy the Wi-Fi only if they gave up their firstborn child.
In just 90 minutes, six people signed into an unknown hotspot without reading the terms, F-Secure revealed in a video posted on Monday (watch above), thereby forfeiting their children under the terms and conditions they agreed to. The experiment, of course, was merely a prank; no firstborn children were exchanged.
F-Secure detailed the results of the experiment in a report called “Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us,” some of which is excerpted below:
During the short time that [the experiment] was running in Canada Square, some six people in the capital’s financial heartland signed up to our terms and conditions and enjoyed free Wi-Fi “in return for their eldest child.”
We have yet to enforce our rights under the terms and conditions but, as this is an experiment, we will be returning the children to their parents. Our legal advisor Mark Deem points out that – while terms and conditions are legally binding – it is contrary to public policy to sell children in return for free services, so the clause would not be enforceable in a court of law.
We don’t know whether the six users ready to forfeit their kids actually read the terms of service — but we hope, for their kids’ sakes, that they simply glazed over them.
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