Web

Terms & Conditions: Craigslist’s bare-bones privacy policy gets it right

terms & conditions craigslist

What are you really agreeing to when you click that fateful “agree button? Terms & Conditions cuts out the legal lingo to spell it out in plain English.

It’s safe to assume that nearly all of us, at one point or another, have used Craigslist. I, for one, visit it on a daily basis to daydream about buying more dirt bikes. (You can never have too many dirt bikes.) That said, it’s also safe to assume that none of us have ever actually read the rules of Craigslist, nor its privacy policy. And now you never have to. Here are Craigslist’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, whittled down to their most important bits.

Terms of Use

No youngsters

Believe it or not, no one under the age of 18-years-old is technically allowed to use Craigslist. That said, this is a provision we see in a wide range of terms of service, including things like Google. In other words, you can ignore this — but Craigslist isn’t responsible if some kid uses the site without parental consent.

Access forbidden

Here are the things you are not really allowed to post anywhere on Craigslist:

  • Fake or fraudulent content (i.e. scams)
  • Anything illegal (drugs, kiddie porn, endangered monkeys, etc.)
  • Hateful, defamatory, or pornographic content (though, of course, the “Casual Encounters section appears to be an exception for the latter)
  • Software that allows auto-posting to Craigslist
  • Bulk telephone numbers
  • Spam 
  • Malware

If you do post any of the above, Craigslist will take it down. And even if you don’t post any of the above, Craiglist reserves the right to remove or modify any posts it likes.

 Craigslist Scams

Post rules

Craigslist is straightforward with its rules for posting. Here’s the basic breakdown:

  1. You may post to any geographic location, but you are not allowed to post to multiple geographic locations at once.
  2. You may not post the same ad more than once every 48 hours, nor may you post the same ad in multiple sections.
  3. No auto-posting. None.
  4. If you’re a posting in a professional capacity (e.g. you’re a car salesman posting ads for vehicles at your dealership), you may not post in the “by-owner” categories under the “For sale” sections.

Code of conduct

Anything you or anyone else does on Craigslist is not Craigslist’s responsibility. So if some jerk rips you off by selling you a broken washing machine, that’s your problem. However, if you do feel as though you’ve been scammed, click here to see what to do about it.

Red flags

You may only “flag” a Craigslist post if you believe it’s in violation of the terms of use. Furthermore, you may only flag items once, so don’t try logging in from different IP addresses to repeatedly flag ads.

Stay off my land!

This part doesn’t directly apply to most users. But it does affect the types of services we have available to us. Craigslist explicitly forbids anyone to “access craigslist or copy, display, distribute, perform or create derivative works from Craigslist webpages or other CL intellectual property.” And that’s why apartment-finding services like Padmapper were blocked from accessing housing posts on Craigslist.

Fortunately for house hunters, Craigslist has begun to roll out its own maps, so the whole Padmapper thing isn’t really that much of a big deal anymore.

Privacy Policy

terms conditions craigslist personals1

Ordinarily, we take a deep dive into the privacy policies of online service. But we really don’t have to do that here: Craigslist has easily the best privacy policy we’ve seen here at T&C.

To sum up: It doesn’t run any ads, install any cookies (or other Web tracking beacons), or share any of your information with any third parties. And it provides email anonymization to reduce spam or data harvesting.

For most users, the only data Craigslist collects is your email address, and perhaps your phone number for account authentication purposes. It does collect additional information (names, phone and fax numbers, billing address) for job postings, which cost money. In these instances, it will charge a paying user’s credit card, but it does not store credit card information once the transaction is complete.

The only data Craigslist stores are Web logs (IP addresses, page URLs, and time stamps). But keep in mind that search engines, like Google, may archive Craigslist posts, and make them easy to find. (So don’t post anything that publicly identifies yourself.)

The one area to be aware of is that Craigslist will not hesitate to share whatever little information it may have on you with law enforcement, if it believes such an action is necessary to protect itself, its users, or the public at large.

Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Product Review

Screen snags aside, the Galaxy Fold is an exciting step toward a foldable future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the company's first foldable phone, with two screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. The phone may be delayed due to display issues, but that doesn't stop us from asking -- what's it like to use?
Mobile

These are the key settings to change on the LG G8 ThinQ smartphone

The LG G8 ThinQ is finally available. There are a lot of settings turned off by default that may be useful in improving the experience of using the phone. We've rounded up 11 key settings for you to change on the G8.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Computing

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Mobile

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.
Web

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.
Computing

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.
Business

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Computing

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.