2

Let's say there is a website X, providing some kind of information or service. I am not their registered user, do not go to their webpage. I open somebody else's webpage Y which somehow incorporates content from X. For example, the site I visit has a Facebook Like button, or shows a Vimeo video, or a Google Maps interactive map.

At that point, am I a customer of Y, or both X and Y? Am I bound by the Terms of Service of X in some way? If during my browsing Y I somehow reveal data to X, are they free to use it in ways to which I never agreed consciously (but are covered in their Terms of Service which I did not read)? Also, if X has data about me from another source (say, they know my e-mail address because my best friend allowed them to scrape his contacts), can they now treat this data about me the same way as every other customer's?

1

Website Y that uses or provides resources from a website X will outline those usages and conditions in the terms of service for website Y.

If you read the TOS for Y, you will see something like

This Terms of Use Agreement ("Agreement") by and between the "websitename" ("we", "us", "our" or "websitename") and you ("you" or "your") governs your use of the www.websitename.org website and other websitename owned or controlled websites (collectively, “websitename") together with all information, content, products, materials and services made available to you through the same by us and/or third parties (emphasis mine). You agree to comply with all notices and requirements accompanying third-party (emphasis mine) Material.

That TOS will also outline the information usage - as well as in cookies, your visit data, etc. - by all parties, X and Y.

If during my browsing Y I somehow reveal data to X, are they free to use it in ways to which I never agreed consciously (but are covered in their Terms of Service which I did not read)? (emphasis mine)

Read before you sign anything. Even a TOS on the web.

By clicking on a TOS, you agree to it. A TOS or EULA is a Contract of Adhesion https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/adhesion_contract_contract_of_adhesion and is legally binding; there is plenty of supporting case law. You sign when you click: http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/business-operations/contracts-and-electronic-signatures.html

  • I am a bit confused by the answer. The way I wrote it, content of "X" is embedded on "Y" and I am browsing "Y" and maybe not even aware that they are including something from "X". Did you swap the "X" and "Y" in your answer? – rumtscho Mar 14 '16 at 20:35
  • Ah, I did transpose X and Y. Fixed. – BlueDogRanch Mar 14 '16 at 20:37
  • I'm a bit confused by the answer, in a different way. If content of X is embedded on Y – X does not tightly control access – and the user never sees or clicks a TOS from X, then surely they aren't bound by something they did not agree to. – user6726 Mar 15 '16 at 0:15
  • @user6726, that's really a different question: website Y is scraping or copying content from the website X. IDK: Does Y has responsibility to its viewers for X content? Does Y even have a TOS? Could X's content be ethically harmful or illegal to a viewer of Y? Is X responsible for security of its content? You should post that as a question. – BlueDogRanch Mar 15 '16 at 2:21
  • @BlueDogRanch That's incorrect. That's not scraping or copying, that's linking to content, which are distinctly different. – Zizouz212 Mar 16 '16 at 1:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.