The perniciousness of online EULAs

(That’s those click-to-agree buttons that users of free services invariably accept.)

“In theory, contract law enables and ought to enable people, first, to exercise their will freely in pursuit of their own ends and, second, to relate to others freely in pursuit of cooperative ends. In practice, electronic contracting threatens autonomy and undermines the development of meaningful relationships built on trust. Optimised to minimise transaction costs, maximise efficiency, minimise deliberation, and engineer complacency, the electronic contracting architecture nudges people to click a button and behave like simple stimulus-response machines.”

Brett Frischmann, co-author of Re-engineering Humanity in an interview with the Economist.