Other than memes, one thing tops the list of things uniting people all around the world these days: the tedious and impossibly cryptic nature of a license agreement. But that might all be about to change.
A new tool is hitting the app store designed to help customers decipher any license agreement, called ‘DoNotSign’. Yeah, those lengthy texts that no one has the time to read or the expertise to understand, but everyone has to sign our agreement in order to use just about any new technology. It’s been developed as a new extension of the DoNotPay app, which is a “robot lawyer” service that digs deep down into the legal terminology of the world wide web, identifies its meaning, and translates it into understandable vernacular for the many of us who didn’t go to law school.
It works by letting users upload, scan, or even simply copy/paste URLs into it of any license agreement in question, then uses machine learning to connect phrases to their respective policies. It’s also programmed to identify and flag particularly opaque policies that have raised controversy for their relationship to the user.
Joshua Browder, the founder and CEO of DoNotPay, says that he “doesn’t think people know what they’re agreeing to,” which is why he began to develop this tool. But in fact, the entire DoNotPay system already exists – its “robot lawyers” also offer services that help people contest parking tickets and even sue people.
Inevitably, it’s important to remember that this is an automated system – and as such, taking legal advice from a robot comes with some risks. The advice has room for error; it can be incorrect or incomplete advice, or there could be a chasm of understanding between the bot and the user. That means it’s a good idea to stick to a human expert for a very important license agreement or contract. But the experts say that even imperfect information is better than nothing at all.
The DoNotSign service will be included with DoNotPay’s monthly $3 subscription fee.