Being new to blogging, I decided to check out Blogger's mobile app for the iPhone. I also decided to read the license agreement for the Blogger mobile app hoping that there would be some hidden prize in the terms and conditions or that there would be some bizzare terms like what Gamestation did by requiring users to "surrender your immortal soul" in return for downloading a game from their website. I did not find any bizzare terms or freebies, but noticed something else.
Here are two screenshots of the license agreement for the Blogger mobile app.
Can you spot the problem with the license agreement?
On my iPhone, clicking on the links lead me to a blank screen. Just to be sure, I tried to get to the URLs on my laptop, but they led me to an error page.
Why? Most of the links have a typographical error. If you have not spotted it by now, the hyperlinks are missing various letters. For some, they are missing "o" in the ".com" (in the case of Australia and Singapore). For others, they are just missing the whole ".com" (e.g for Armenia). Canada, for example, is missing "om" in the ".com". Russia is missing both the ".com" and the "u" in ".ru". The errors are repeated throughout the license agreement document.
Now, what does that all mean? Have I been provided with the means and opportunity to read and review the terms of service, and have I been afforded the chance to consider the purpose of Google processing my personal data. Probably not. Am I bound by the terms of service given that the links don't work and I will have to do a bit of guessing in some cases to figure out what the correct link is? Probably not either. Are the Google terms of service enforceable against me in my use of the Blogger mobile app? I doubt so as they were never presented to me.
Does it really mean much in practice in this particular instance? Again, probably not much as Google can update the terms and conditions with the correct hyperlinks from time to time and deliver it as an update to the app, and will run the argument that continued use of the app would mean acceptance of those updated terms. And truth be told, most users don't read these terms and conditions anyway (in the two examples I linked to, Gamestation had estimated that 88% of people did not read the online terms; and more than 3000 people did not get the US$1,000 prize in the PC Pitstop clickthrough agreement because they did not read the agreement), and presumably would not be bothered much by their inability to access terms and conditions as they did not bother read them in the first place! It also does not mean much to me personally as I did not install the Blogger mobile app in the end.
However, this is not to say that making mistakes in your clickwrap or browserwrap or appwrap agreement (or any agreement for that matter) is of trite consequence. Drafting errors can lead to unforeseen liability (especially if the protections in the hyperlinked terms and conditions which you were hoping to rely on do not exist).
In any case, it is slightly amusing to spot the slip-up. I might just email Google to inform them about it.