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It would take you 76 days to read the privacy policies for a year of web travels

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The Atlantic dug up a study by Carnegie Mellon where researchers found that it would take seventy-six eight-hour work days for the average American to actually read the privacy policies for every website they interact with in a given year. I wonder how long one spends scrolling past privacy policies and clicking "I agree to all terms and conditions." 

Researchers Lorrie Faith Cranor and Aleecia McDonald found the average length of a privacy policy to be 2,514 words, which would take the average person ten minutes to read. They then figured out that the average person visits between 1,354 and 1,518 websites in a given year. This comes out to twenty-five full days a year, or seventy-six work days. Then they do all sorts of  crazy mathy wizardry stuff to figure out that if everyone in America read every privacy policy they're supposed to, it would add up to a nationalized total of 53.8 billion hours. 

I whipped out my own math magic wand to figure out that in 53.8 billion hours of not reading privacy policies, America could consume its desired content, presumably viral video classic "Charlie bit my finger," 3.5 trillion times. Also, in the time it would take to read eighty-one privacy policies, you could read Don DeLillo's White Noise, the great postmodern novel about media saturation and fear of death, twice. 

The research also assigns a monetary value to the time spent reading privacy polices: $781 billion a year. The hypothetical privacy-policy-reading industry would be worth more than the GDP of Florida, says The Atlantic.

Privacy polices are so familiar at this point that they get completely ignored. It's like how the average porn website has a userbase consisting entirely of people born on January 1st, 1900. No one reads these things, meaning people are woefully uneducated when it comes to how their data and personal information are handled. The recent Google privacy policy changes come to mind.

I can't be bothered to spend ten minutes reading a privacy policy. Those precious minutes are reserved for mindlessly scrolling, eyes glazed, through pages and pages of frivolous internet. I don't care if some shadowy corporate conglomerate has access to my information. I want to know what some guy I went to high school with had for lunch. I need to see pictures of cats. I want to know why what Kim Kardashian wore to that gala is a total fashion disaster. Sell my personal information, give my private messages to the FBI, publish my browsing history, store my photos in a permanent database. Just don't make me go outside!