Terms of Service (ToS) are fundamental factors in the creation of physical as well as online legally relevant relationships. They not only define mutual rights and obligations but also inform users about contract key issues that, in online settings, span from liability limitations to data management and processing conditions. Despite their crucial role, however, ToS are often neglected by users that frequently accept without even reading what they agree upon, representing a critical issue when there exist potentially unfair clauses. To enhance users' awareness and uphold legal safeguards, we first propose a definition of ToS unfairness based on a novel unfairness measure computed counting the unfair clauses contained in a ToS, and therefore, weighted according to their direct impact on the customers concrete interests. Secondly, we introduce a novel machine learning-based approach to classify ToS clauses, represented by using sentence embedding, in different categories classes and fairness levels. Results of a test involving well-known machine learning models show that Support Vector Machine is able to classify clauses into categories with a F1-score of 86% outperforming state-of-the-art methods, while Random Forest is able to classify clauses into fairness levels with a F1-score of 81%. With the final goal of making terms of service more readable and understandable, we embedded this approach into ToSware, a prototype of a Google Chrome extension. An evaluation study was performed to measure ToSware effectiveness, efficiency, and the overall users' satisfaction when interacting with it.

A machine learning-based approach to identify unlawful practices in online terms of service: analysis, implementation and evaluation

Delfina Malandrino;Rocco Zaccagnino
2021

Abstract

Terms of Service (ToS) are fundamental factors in the creation of physical as well as online legally relevant relationships. They not only define mutual rights and obligations but also inform users about contract key issues that, in online settings, span from liability limitations to data management and processing conditions. Despite their crucial role, however, ToS are often neglected by users that frequently accept without even reading what they agree upon, representing a critical issue when there exist potentially unfair clauses. To enhance users' awareness and uphold legal safeguards, we first propose a definition of ToS unfairness based on a novel unfairness measure computed counting the unfair clauses contained in a ToS, and therefore, weighted according to their direct impact on the customers concrete interests. Secondly, we introduce a novel machine learning-based approach to classify ToS clauses, represented by using sentence embedding, in different categories classes and fairness levels. Results of a test involving well-known machine learning models show that Support Vector Machine is able to classify clauses into categories with a F1-score of 86% outperforming state-of-the-art methods, while Random Forest is able to classify clauses into fairness levels with a F1-score of 81%. With the final goal of making terms of service more readable and understandable, we embedded this approach into ToSware, a prototype of a Google Chrome extension. An evaluation study was performed to measure ToSware effectiveness, efficiency, and the overall users' satisfaction when interacting with it.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4769689
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 6
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact