Dropbox's terms of service changes met with anger in user comments

Many online companies like to revise their terms of service statements from time to time and this week Dropbox announced that's exactly what it will be doing starting on March 24th. The cloud storage company revealed its plans via email alerts and on its official blog.

In the blog post, one of the changes that was mentioned was that Dropbox will be adding a way to use arbitration to settle disputes between the company and its users. The blog states that Dropbox feels that such a move is a "faster way" to settle such cases. However, going to the actual terms of service page itself reveals something else. Dropbox will now prohibit its users from entering any class action lawsuits made against it.

It's that particular alteration that has caused many people to get upset in the Dropbox blog user comments. One person wrote, "Shame on you dropbox (sic). There is nothing more anti-american than a binding arbitration clause that requires folks to waive there (sic) right to a jury trial." Dropbox will allow users to opt out of arbitration within 30 days of agreeing to the new Terms of Services.

Some of the other changes that are being made include more details about how Dropbox handles requests by government agencies for information about their customers and adding the Mailbox app to the company's Terms of Service agreement. The company ended its blog post by saying that ultimately, their commitment to keeping data stored by their users safe remains the same, saying, "We don’t sell your personal information to third parties. We don’t serve ads based on the stuff you store in our services. And, as always, your stuff is yours."

Source: Dropbox blog | Dropbox image via Shutterstock

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i_was_here said,
Maybe they want a remote backup in addition to local backup?

Would be far cheaper and more reliable rotating a hard drive between home and work/family/friends/safe deposit box/etc.

LogicalApex said,

Would be far cheaper and more reliable rotating a hard drive between home and work/family/friends/safe deposit box/etc.


Not to mention more secure.

If the law says you can start legal action again company xyz but the companies TOS say you can't then surely you still can because the law beats it

exotoxic said,
If the law says you can start legal action again company xyz but the companies TOS say you can't then surely you still can because the law beats it

Have you ever dealt with a lawyer in court before?

"Why did you continue to use the service, sir, if you did not agree to these terms of the service?"

As much as folks are moaning over this, their email they sent out to everyone spelled out the changes in reasonably clear language. That's a lot better than say, Apple, who presents you with god knows what when iTunes gets an incremental update.

Shadrack said,

"Why did you continue to use the service, sir, if you did not agree to these terms of the service?"

Because their TOS is invalid as it is against the law?

that's void in court if your local law grants you rights to use it (law > TOS); yesterday just talked to a lawyer regarding warranties, as an example, and it pretty much summed like this: the law says "a", but company xyz says "b" ("b" being inferior to "a"); if one goes to court then "a" wins because it's the country/Europe law and that takes precedence to whatever "b" that company says.

Praetor said,
that's void in court if your local law grants you rights to use it (law > TOS); yesterday just talked to a lawyer regarding warranties, as an example, and it pretty much summed like this: the law says "a", but company xyz says "b" ("b" being inferior to "a"); if one goes to court then "a" wins because it's the country/Europe law and that takes precedence to whatever "b" that company says.

Exactly! That's the thing why vast parts of EULAs are invalid in the EU…

The terms of service are rules, if you agree to those rules that becomes an agreement which is then a contract. That contract is enforceable. Arbitration has become very common in the US.

you do know that a contract can become null if it's proven to be made by bad faith or has illegal stipulations? A TOS can be render void if it is proven that it's illegal in the current law.

TBH, I cant see dropbox and other mid size companies (along with plenty of lower level players) competing for too long. At the end of the day they cant build their own data centers, never mind multiple datacentre 'nodes' around the world, they also cant develop their own underlying software for their data centres (that don't exist afaik).

I am really all for competition, I really am but I simply cant imagine anyone offering a better than onedrive service (Unless there is some specific have to have right now feature) at the same price points with the same features along with the obvious aggressive roadmap - they really do want to win here..

Edited by duddit2, Feb 22 2014, 1:42am :

A shame about the new TOS but it really will not stop me from using Dropbox. Is it legal or not legal what they are doing, well I am not a layer and I doubt I would ever have the money to take Dropbox to court for any type of action, before or after the new TOS. For me they provide a great service and have had no problems, although I make a bi-weekly backup which I put away, just to be safe.

I don't know how it works in the US but in the EU no ToS is above any law. All and any laws conflicting with the ToS will invalidate the ToS.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
I don't know how it works in the US but in the EU no ToS is above any law. All and any laws conflicting with the ToS will invalidate the ToS.

TOS is not a contract.

As Bill Foster said in the film "Falling down" I'm just protecting my rights as a consumer.

If you want my opinon, EULA's, TOS etc are all way too long for people to read with some of them being over 200-300 pages long. They should simply be a list of what your actually agreeing too.

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