Definition

clickwrap agreement (clickthrough agreement)

Contributor(s): Sharon Shea

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:

  1. Be reasonably and prominently visible to all users.
  2. Require active affirmative consent, meaning agreements cannot be prefilled or unenforceable.
  3. Be understandable by the average user, not filled with legal or corporate jargon.

Clickwrap agreements stem from the concept of shrink wrap licenses which are commonly used in the software industry to state that once a package is opened, the user agrees to the company's terms of service. Types of clickwrap agreements include terms and conditions, terms of use, copyright policies, privacy policies and end user license agreements (EULA).

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.
This was last updated in January 2019

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