New York (The Verge) — A contentious legal debate over user agreements has been delayed after Elizabeth Warren called it ‘dangerous’ theverge.com/2019/5/22/1863….
The American Law Institute has delayed an opinion that would make it easier for companies to bind users with contracts they haven’t read.
It’s difficult to buy products, use apps, or even go online without accepting the terms of dauntingly long user agreements, which govern everything from how companies use your data to whether you can sue them. People almost universally ignore these contracts, which has created a conundrum for courts: when has a user meaningfully agreed to something, and when is a company taking advantage of their ignorance?
The powerful American Law Institute (ALI) hoped to solve this problem with something called the Restatement of the Law of Consumer Contracts. The proposal has been in the works for years, and the group hoped to pass it at a meeting yesterday. But the proposed restatement galvanized consumer rights advocates into opposition, caused a brief drama when the ALI issued copyright takedown notices to a critic who posted the draft online, and drew fire from two dozen state attorneys general and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who called the proposal “dangerous.” — Adi Robertson/@verge