Terms of Service as Cyber-Regulation

11 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


We live in an increasingly global and interconnected world. Given the global reach of the majority of the services provided on the web, online platforms seek through their terms of 
service (ToS) to limit their potential liability under the “law of the land” and enforce an otherwise homogeneous set of rules across multiple jurisdictions. Hence, it is often argued that these companies effectively play the role of cyberspace regulators due to their capability to (a) define rules the rules of the platform; (b) define alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms; and © enforce the platform rules and the results of the ADR .

This workshop will explore the following questions:
- 1) To what extent can the contractual agreements circumvent the mechanisms of protection of fundamental rights and consumer protection built into the various national laws?
- 2) How can we ensure that the “law of the platform” achieves a sufficient level of clarity and intelligibility ? 
- 3) What should be the role of (inter)governmental actors, users and civil society in the development of platform rules ?
- 4) Can interoperability across different regimes be encouraged through the use of this regulatory tool?

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