Terms Discussion. WARNING: don't indenture yourself to Anytype!

If you log out (or uninstall then reinstall) the Anytype Android app, it now says (as of 0.23.7) that by continuing, you agree to the terms of service and privacy policy. There is a list of points on this page that you would agree to if you agree to the terms:

Note especially the “Instead of asking” point, that allows them to bind you to new terms instantly as soon as they post them. Essentially, they get a blank check to force the user (who agrees initially) to do whatever they like (by just adding a promise to do it to an update).

Now I mentioned this to Evgenii Kozlov and he said “consider writing about this on the community forum, it’s a collective issue and therefore it should be addressed collectively”. I think that means we should use this chain (and if needed, others linked from it) to discuss terms (if any).

If we need to extract promises from users at all (I’m not sure we do if we keep this as decentralized as originally pitched), I think we should take a different approach where the community defines the terms, and if the community determines updates are needed to the terms, they are not instantly binding with an assumption of agreement. Which of the following alternative approaches would the community like?

  1. Present a new checkbox to gain explicit consent for each update.
  2. Whatever the user initially agrees to is their agreement in perpetuity.
  3. Or, of course, don’t extract promises at all is one option I alluded to earlier.
  4. Something else?

I might not get it, so please correct me an…

Isn’t that normal in almost any online service? If you want to control your update, can’t we click don’t automatically update?


Setting aside any question of what the terms of service say for this reply:

  1. Of course there are terms of service - Any is providing a service and, from a purely legal point of view, the terms of the service must be defined and stated and the customer should agree to them.
  2. Of course there’s a privacy policy - that’s a requirement in almost all jurisdictions.
  3. As to when the user should be asked to agree - I think that, once you have logged in for the first time, and agreed, you should not have to agree again unless:
  • you create a new account
  • you uninstall and reinstall.

#1 and 2 make sense, but to #3:
Uninstall/reinstall seems unlikely to coincide with changes to the terms, why would it require re-agreeing (especially if agreement with timestamp is stored with the account, which I think would make the most sense).

Note (and this is for @thePauker too) that most services probably don’t bother to keep track of whether and when users agree to their terms. At least they never tell me when I agreed to their terms. Anyway, it seems like if they ever intended to hold people to their promises in any sort of a legal sense, they would need to keep track of the timestamp of each user’s agreement.

In many cases, uninstall removes locally stored credentials so might need the user to re-register. It’s not universal, but it’s a use case for re-presentation and agreement.

I do not agree with number 3. You should have to agree again when Terms of Service change. This can be easily done either by mail, that’s how most web apps do, or in the case of AnyType, it could be simply in a Changelog pop-up → display the version changes and ask for agreement if ToS were modifies or do not launch the app.

That’s how you should do it. I don’t think requiring the consumer to be perpetually binded to your ToS, even when they change, has any legal value in most countries. It would not hold in mine, you’d have to prove that I consented to a specific version of ToS, proof that I agreed to v1.0 would not equal proof that I agreed to version 99.99. :slight_smile:

I thought that consent by usage could only be legal if there are no user interaction, i.e a news website or showcasd site, not a forum or anything where users can post. That’s not the case for AnyType, so I’m not sure that these ToS are legal anywhere.


You’re correct - I had been thinking of cases where the terms haven’t changed but the user might be asked to agree again. I should have made that clear.

To be sure - any change ton terms of service or related polices should require the user to agree in some form, whether by mail or by popup.


That sounds fine (it is basically #1 in my original post). with one caveat: We still need to be able to export our data, even if we don’t agree to the terms updates.

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Is it time to discuss the content of the terms now (like whether or not we should restrict what content users collect), or should that be in a new thread?

I think this should be its own thread. You could mention it and link it in the OP if you want it to be more visible :slight_smile:

So, how do we get this part fixed?