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Get notified when a site's terms of service change

Docracy tracks TOS agreements for nearly a thousand popular services--and lists the latest updates.

You know those lengthy terms-of-service (TOS) agreements everybody ignores when installing a piece of software or registering for a new Web service?

Turns out, they're kind of important, especially for those concerned about privacy (and these days, who isn't?).

For example, you may recall that back in December, Instagram caused a huge kerfuffle when it made changes to its privacy policy, which were outlined in an updated TOS.

That made national news, but not all such changes get that kind of attention. So how can you keep tabs on your favorite online services to make sure they're not slipping undesirable updates past you?

Try the Docracy Terms of Service Tracker. True to its name, this site monitors the TOS agreements and privacy policies for nearly a thousand Web services.

In just the past two days, for example, Docracy shared TOS changes for Comcast.net, Ebay, Fitbit, and Yahoo.

Before you get too riled up, many of the changes were little more than grammatical modifications: a comma added here, a word added there, and so on. But obviously if you use any of the services tracked by Docracy, it's a good idea to at least peek at any changes to make sure there's nothing major.

And just so you don't have to remember to visit the site on a regular basis, Docracy offers an RSS feed so you can monitor the latest changes in your favorite RSS reader.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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