Hugh D’Andrade of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a commentary on the Cars.gov terms of service (TOS) privacy flap that Glenn Beck reported on recently.
After noting that the TOS applied to registered car dealers and not to the public, D’Andrade reiterates EFF’s longstanding position on such click-through agreements, but notes that Fox anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle erred in describing the scope of the privacy issue when she said:
They are jumping right inside you, seizing all of your personal and private information, and absolutely legal, Glenn, they can do it… They can continue to track you, basically forever, once they’ve tapped into your system, the government of course has, like, malware systems, and tracking cookies, and they can tap in any time they want.
According to D’Andrade:
Clicking “continue” on a poorly worded Terms of Service on a government site will not give the government the ability to “tap into your system… any time they want.” The seizure of the personal and private information stored on your computer through a one-sided click-through terms of service is not “conscionable” as lawyers say, and would not be enforceable even if the cars.gov website was capable of doing it, which we seriously doubt. Moreover, the law has long forbidden the government from requiring you to give up unrelated constitutional rights (here the 4th Amendment right to be free from search and seizure) as a condition of receiving discretionary government benefits like participation in the Cars for Clunkers program.
Read more on EFF.