1. 16

    I find the whole concept of ‘we may modify this at any time without your knowledge or consent’ clauses offensive. Nobody that feels the need to include such a clause is operating in good faith.

    I’ve heard people claim that this is them ‘covering their arse’ in case they accidentally modify the policy/terms or violate them in an unimportant way, but that’s exactly he opposite of what I want! How does that even make sense? Someone so careless that they would violate their own terms of service/privacy policy should be able to be held responsible.

    Those clauses should absolutely be illegal if they aren’t already. I also think that the courts should be much harsher on those that include unenforceable and illegal clauses inside such agreements. You shouldn’t just be able to throw the strongest possible legal terms into your clause and then have them watered down by the courts at a later date. Including anything unenforceable should render the entire terms unenforceable for the company. That way, people would be required to have terms of service and privacy policies that actually describe what your rights are. No ‘binding arbitration’ clauses that you just have to know are unenforceable. No ‘you give us the right to your firstborn child’-style clauses.

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      TOS and privacy policies exist to control the behavior of end users, not the company providing the service.

      It doesn’t even make sense to talk about a company “violating” their own TOS because the TOS doesn’t apply to the company, but to the user. The company can always change the TOS and Privacy Policy to suit their whims.

      1. 1

        Do you know if Privacy Policies and/or TOS are legally binding? I’ve heard they are not.

        If not, what could a digital product provide that would lock both the provider and customer into some set of agreeable terms? This sounds like a contract to me, but I’ve never seen this done in any sort of digital product.

    1. 9

      GitHub is a wonderful product. It’s incredibly well designed despite the complicated nature of the workflows it supports. The fact that the app is still usable and perfomant with JS disabled is a significant achievement. I do worry that they will go the way of JIRA and come out with some fashionable but low-usability react-based modal-everywhere redesign. That would be unfortunate.

      1. 12

        the app is still usable with JS disabled

        Indeed! Now if only it would be usable with JS enabled; that would sure be nice.

        (The way the JS in their comment forms intercept common readline-based and emacs-based shortcuts and replace them with useless markdown formatting functions is so annoying I had to blacklist their JS.)