User confirmation of terms


This is more of a legal question but I couldn't find the "Legal" Q&A on StackExchange yet...maybe next week :)

I have a web app and mobile app where users sign up and create an account. I also have terms in which all users of my app are governed by.

My question is legally how do I have to ensure every user is actually governed by my terms.

  1. Is it good enough to just have a terms page present and leave it up to the user to read them
  2. Do I have to have a check box on sign up (can I default that to checked)

I have seen both above methods used, any insight into the issue would be much appreciated.

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asked Apr 7 '11 at 13:39
B Mon
108 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • I also wonder, what if you just add a button "I agree with the terms of service" and have link to the terms above the button. – Evgeny 12 years ago

3 Answers


Generally the best way to answer a question like this is to copy what a HUGE company (with a big legal department) does.

In this case, I believe the answer is have a required check box, defaulted to unchecked, with a link to terms of use. You won't lose conversions because of that. Users are accustomed to checking the box and clicking 'next' or 'signup', etc.

answered Apr 7 '11 at 15:05
Landon Swan
569 points


As far as I know, it's not been tested in court. If it ever is tested, it is likely that the common practice will be ineffective, and you will have to take more intrusive steps to ensure that people actually read your terms before accepting them.

answered Apr 7 '11 at 15:31
Mike Scott
691 points


I have no idea of the "legal" implications but, what about using a scrolling box containing your terms of use with a check box below that is only active upon scrolling through the entire text of your terms? This way you can say the user has read over the terms before accepting them.

I seem to see more and more of this especially with the bigger web companies.

answered Apr 9 '11 at 07:09
Ronnie T
101 points

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