The internet is great for watching movies and sharing software, and it’s perfect for telecoms and transferring cash, but it’s also not very good for some things. One of those things is contracts.
For whatever reason, no matter how important a digital contract or agreement is, it only gets read by about 7% of people. That means its gets totally ignored by over 93% of users, who simply skip past all of the ‘boring’ stuff to get to the ‘I Agree’ button.
That said, the act of agreeing may have more importance than many people realise.
Are online Terms and Conditions of service legally binding?
Yes. There are two ways to agree Terms and Conditions: A Clickwrap Agreement and a Browsewrap agreement. A clickwrap agreement means clicking an ‘I Agree’ button to continue onwards, where a browsewrap agreement means that there is a link to the terms and conditions somewhere on the page. Although the terms are never actively seen or agreed by any user, their use of the site implies that they agree to the terms under which they are using it (for instance to not hack the site or steal images).
More recently the validity of browsewrap agreements have been questioned, which is why many websites require a user to accept cookies – turning a browsewrap agreement into a clickwrap agreement.
To ensure full protection for all of our client networks, we ask our users to accept our terms of service each time they log into their machine which will be specific the company you are employed by. We thought we would take a moment to explain why it is there and what it represents.
What is the Disclaimer?
“This PC/Laptop must be used in the appropriate manner it is intended for. While in use, it remains the property of <Business Name>. Any misuse may result in disciplinary action being taken. Please note that all devices are subject to monitoring. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Support helpdesk on 01268 627111.”
Why do we use it?
While we do not expect that users will always use their computer for work, we believe that an honest approach to IT rules and the high level of respect for machines owned by the business can help to solve a variety of potential disciplinary challenges before they occur.
Considering our customers do not wish to take disciplinary action on their employees, this disclaimer represents a clear boundary and makes sure that everyone in the business is aware that they are in a professional working environment each time they log-in.
While often these benefits are not always visible, a focused and consistent approach to rules within the workplace contribute to a more professional manner when dealing with colleagues and customers.