Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

Post

Deficiencies in the Terms of Service

+1
−0

I took a look at our Terms of Service, and it seems like we are missing a provision on modifying them, a severability clause and a clause incorporating the Privacy Policy into the Terms.

This can potentially be serious, as it may not be legally justifiable or may be too risky to not explicitly state that we have the right to modify our Terms of Service, or that the terms survive any legal challenge where a provision may be struck down by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Our Privacy Policy is not mentioned in the Terms of Service at all, nor on the signup page. It therefore follows that it may have been possible that our users never agreed to it or to be bound by any of its terms.

In addition, it may be the case that without modification provisions that we must notify our users in app or via email of ALL changes to the terms, which poses an issue. While we say that use of the Service means that a user agrees to the Terms, if we update the Terms and the user visits again or logs into their account again, there isn't any explicit positive statement that the user is bound by the new terms.

The lack of a severability clause means that we run the risk of having the entire Terms declared unenforceable simply because a user challenges us in court and a ruling is made which affects a single provision only. We can't run the risk of operating with no Terms of Service.

I propose we add provisions to our Terms to the following effect: "We may update our terms from time to time without further notice to you, unless notice is required by law. Your use of the Service after the Terms are updated constitutes your acceptance of the updated Terms."; "If any provision of these terms is declared invalid or unenforceable through a legally binding process, the remaining Terms remain in full force and effect" and "You agree to be bound by our Privacy Policy [Privacy Policy is hyperlinked to it], as modified from time to time".

Unless we are prepared to get a legal opinion (whether specific to us or generally applicable) or something of similar effect and have the technologies to notify all of our users of a Terms update, it seems these kinds of issue would be ones that we should aim to fix.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

1 comment thread

Users must be notified of any changes to the Terms of Service BEFORE they take effect. (3 comments)

Comments on Deficiencies in the Terms of Service

Users must be notified of any changes to the Terms of Service BEFORE they take effect.
Zakk‭ wrote 5 months ago:

I propose we add provisions to our Terms to the following effect: "We may update our terms from time to time without further notice to you, unless notice is required by law. Your use of the Service after the Terms are updated constitutes your acceptance of the updated Terms."

I completely disagree. I don't see any reason for changing the ToS without notifying users. I think that users must be notified some time before the new ToS take effect.

[...] and have the technologies to notify all of our users of a Terms update

Sending an email to a bunch of users, or to having an in-site notification stating the ToS change is not very hard to implement.

sau226‭ wrote 5 months ago:

Re your comment above, see my reply below:

I agree that unless we make a change that could be classified as "administrative" or "required by law/to be in compliance with law", a notice period would be useful for a change. Unfortunately we don't have that technology yet, so I offered the model clause by way of a stop gap measure.

Wonderful - since it is "not hard to implement" and quite a few of our devs are working on other issues, I'm sure they'll appreciate you offering some extra hands to build out a bulk email function (that can follow rate limits so our email service doesn't get suspended and accurately email all users) or an in-site notification tool that logs somewhere that a user saw its message and can be reused (to record user consent to new terms, right?), if we do go ahead and make any Terms changes.

Zakk‭ wrote 5 months ago:

I'm sure they'll appreciate you offering some extra hands to build out a bulk email function (...) or an in-site notification tool

I don't know Ruby. So I can't help.

... that logs somewhere that a user saw its message and can be reused (to record user consent to new terms, right?)

There is no need to record that a user saw the notification. And I don't see why recording such information would be helpful.