Crowdsourcing the Simplification of Terms of Service Agreements

This is an interesting project:

“I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that. We are a user rights initiative to rate and label website terms & privacy policies, from very good Class A to very bad Class E.

ToS;DR is a young project started in June 2012. The data is subject to important changes. This is your opportunity to help us fix the “biggest lie on the web”: join us if you have information to contribute related to specific terms or if you have a comment!

ToS;DR aims at creating a transparent and peer-reviewed process to rate and analyse Terms of Service and Privacy Policies in order to create a rating from Class A to Class E. We need more legal expertise, please also join the working-group. We also need people to contribute source code. Everything is JavaScript and JSON. The data is freely available (CC-BY-SA) and ready to be used for other tools, like browser extensions.

I think aspects of this could succeed, and others will not. I will be following it closely. [Via Jane Hu]

One thought on “Crowdsourcing the Simplification of Terms of Service Agreements

  1. It is useful — but sort of in the way that Wikipedia is useful — as a quasi-reliable but helpful gateway to more in-depth study. I haven’t read all these agreements, but I learned a thing or two by scanning what they’ve got posted — but what I’ve learned is what to look for when I actually read the TOS. Meaning that some of the summary statements are more evocative than explanatory. What does it mean, for instance that a company can “take credit” for your work? To really figure that out, you need to read the actual language. Still, as long as this isn’t understood as a reliable proxy (or an excuse for the standard ToS), I think it’s a net benefit.

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