A clickwrap agreement, also known as a clickthrough agreement, is an online contract that confirms a user's consent to a company's terms and conditions. This type of contract is a substitute for a real signature and is often used to enforce software licenses or authorize online transactions.
The format of a clickwrap agreement is not universal, but often requires a user to click or check a box stating "OK," "I agree" or "I accept" in a form, pop-up window or dialog box. When the user consents, they may continue their desired action such as logging into an account, downloading software or completing a purchase. If the user rejects a clickwrap agreement, their interaction terminates and they will be denied continued use of a service, website or product. Another form of a clickwrap agreement is an electronic signature, or "type and click" form, where a user must type their name or a specific word into a text box before proceeding.
Clickthrough agreements permit companies to engage in a contract with customers without negotiating with each user individually. In order to be a considered legitimate, these agreements must:
- Be reasonably and prominently visible to all users.
- Require active affirmative consent, meaning agreements cannot be prefilled or unenforceable.
- Be understandable by the average user, not filled with legal or corporate jargon.
Examples of clickwrap agreement uses
Online users encounter clickwrap agreements on a regular basis. Some examples are during:
- Online registration forms.
- Online banking authorization.
- Software installation.
- User account creation.
- Online transactions.
- Connections to corporate or open wireless networks.
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