A Plea to Compare the Meerkat! – What you need to Know about the New Apps Privacy Policy

meerkat-logo

As I’ve written before about apps such as Whatsapp and Snapchat, I’m very concerned that people are still taking privacy of information for granted on apps that appear more ‘private’ than those public broadcasters like Twitter or Facebook.

Enter the latest app that’s taking the app charts by storm – Meerkat. Meerkat is a live streaming device by which everyone can stream things and constantly monitor each other. Much akin to, oh I don’t know, those scary TVs meet the youth league in George Orwell’s 1984. These big questions of ‘where the hell are we going with all of this and do we really want to be there’ aside, I would like to draw reader’s attention to the most important points in the T&Cs and privacy policy, as I know most people won’t read them.

These are quotes taken directly from their website. Please read in full yourself, for further context.

Terms and Conditions: 

1) Storage Processing or Use by Meerkat

“By submitting, posting or displaying content on or through the services you grant us worldwide non-exclusive, royalty-free licence (with the right to sublicense), to use, copy reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display such content in any and all media or distribution methods (known or later developed).”

2) “We also reserve the right to access, read, preserve and disclose, information we reasonably believe is necessary to (i) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request…” – and that by UK and American law, as you should know by now, is anything for any reason readers.

Privacy Policy: 

3) “We may share your private personal information with such service providers subject to confidential obligations consistent with this privacy policy“. – Such ‘obligations’ in favour of the user I think would basically come down to whether you still have an account, or not. That’s as far as I can make out in terms of restrictions on them but perhaps someone else can tell us more?

4) (re. Business Transfers): “Your information may be sold as part of that transaction“.

So there you have it. I hope this allows people to make a more informed decision before they download the app, start live streaming their private life, videos between partners and in a marketing or business context.

We have reached a very important point in our social history and I would hope individuals, businesses and groups would consciously consider our next steps very carefully.

But I know that’s wishful thinking.

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