Clicking on “I Agree”: Sticking Your Head in the Lion’s Mouth?
It happens to all of us once a week or even more often. We’re enticed to enter into some transaction on the web and before the requested services/goods will be forthcoming we’re given a lengthy document to read that contains the “take it or leave it” terms of the supplier. Unless willing to abort the transaction at this point, writing off the experience as a waste of time, we uneasily click on the “I Agree” icon. Do you, blog reader, read the terms? Most people don’t. They are mind-numbingly detailed, written in dense legalese, meant to be too dull to contemplate, all in all the sort of thing Mark Twain once called “chloroform in print.” Writing this sort of legal mumbo-jumbo in such a fashion that it’s almost impossible to stay awake long enough to both decipher and appreciate, is a much valued legal art. The lawyers who wrote it don’t want you to read it . They want the task to overwhelm you so that you just give in, wave the white flag, and click “I