Do Not Pay, the "robot lawyer" that can help you do everything from beat a traffic ticket to getting access to services for poor and homeless people, has rolled out a new service: "Do Not Sign," a tool to analyze terms of service agreements.
While its true that these services are virtually always terrible, they're not all the same. Do Not Sign will flag things like obscure clauses that let you opt out of data collection and binding arbitration.
Do Not Sign also flags the everyday terrors of these "agreements," such as the right to change them later without notice, the right to stop providing a service without notice, and the fact that you assume all risk when using a service.
Do Not Sign uses machine learning to flag "warnings" and "loopholes" in these "agreements."
"I got into this gym membership with this US company called Planet Fitness, and I didn't realize when I was signing up that it's basically impossible to cancel," Browder told The Verge in an interview. "I think it just goes to show that even someone like me wouldn't read the fine print. I don't think regular people know what they're agreeing to." In the case of Planet Fitness, Browder says he eventually found a clause buried in its terms of service that allowed him to cancel the contract if he moved out of the area. In the end, he canceled his membership by telling the gym he'd moved to the UK.
This is what Do Not Sign means by "loopholes." I found one such example when I fed the system Apple's terms of service: it informed me that I can request my personal data from the company and ask Apple to delete it. This is a fairly standard feature of modern contracts, thanks to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, but it's something that the average consumer might not know about. Do Not Sign also highlights when users can opt out of arbitration clauses, a feature in contracts that stops customers from being able to sue a company or join a class action suit against it.
This "robot lawyer" can take the mystery out of license agreements [Jon Porter/The Verge]