Annotated Terms of Service of 100 Online Platforms
The dataset contains information about the contents of 100 Terms of Service (ToS) of online platforms. The documents were analyzed and evaluated from the point of view of the European Union consumer law. The main results have been presented in the table titled "Terms of Service Analysis and Evaluation_RESULTS." This table is accompanied by the instruction followed by the annotators, titled "Variables definitions," allowing for the interpretation of the assigned values. In addition, we provide the raw data (analyzed ToS, in the folder "Clear ToS") and the annotated documents (in the folder "Annotated ToS," further subdivided). SAMPLE: The sample contains 100 contracts of digital platforms operating in sixteen market sectors: Cloud storage, Communication, Dating, Finance, Food, Gaming, Health, Music, Shopping, Social, Sports, Transportation, Travel, Video, Work, and Various. The selected companies' headquarters span four legal surroundings: the US, the EU, Poland specifically, and Other jurisdictions. The chosen platforms are both privately held and publicly listed and offer both fee-based and free services. Although the sample cannot be treated as representative of all online platforms, it nevertheless accounts for the most popular consumer services in the analyzed sectors and contains a diverse and heterogeneous set. CONTENT: Each ToS has been assigned the following information: 1. Metadata: 1.1. the name of the service; 1.2. the URL; 1.3. the effective date; 1.4. the language of ToS; 1.5. the sector; 1.6. the number of words in ToS; 1.7–1.8. the jurisdiction of headquarter; 1.9. if the company is public or private; 1.10. if the service is paid or free. 2. Evaluative Variables: remedy clauses (2.1– 2.5); dispute resolution clauses (2.6–2.10); unilateral alteration clauses (2.11–2.15); rights to police the behavior of users (2.16–2.17); regulatory requirements (2.18–2.20); and various (2.21–2.25). 3. Counting Variables: the number of clauses seen as unclear (3.1) and the number of other documents referred to by the ToS (3.2). 4. Pull-out Variables: rights and obligations of the parties (4.1) and descriptions of the service (4.2) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The research leading to these results has received funding from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, project no. 2020/37/K/HS5/02769, titled “Private Law of Data: Concepts, Practices, Principles & Politics.”
Steps to reproduce
The documents were retrieved from publicly accessible websites of respective online platforms on February 22, 2022, from the territory of Poland, the European Union. The URLs are listed in the "Terms of Service Analysis and Evaluation_RESULTS" table and all the raw data is enclosed in the "Clear ToS" folder. Each document was subsequently annotated independently by two researchers, based on the enclosed instruction. The instruction was prepared by the PI, with the help of the team, based on EU law. The annotators subsequently run consistency checks. The process was designed to ensure the lack of errors and the clarity of the instruction. When ambiguities in the latter were discovered, the PI and the annotators resolved them, and the previously tagged documents were retroactively examined for consistency. We enclose the annotated documents, in the folder "Annotated ToS," so that the clauses based on which a given value was assigned in the table can be verified and examined.