Fair Web Services Certification

This is a draft. It's work in progress and will change without special notice. Comments are welcome.


Transparency is important to give the user the means to consciously decide about the pros and cons of using the service. It makes it possible to make an informed choice about what services to use and what that does to control of data and freedom of usage.

Redable terms of use

There is a clear, concise, and understandable version of the terms of use in non-legalese.

Rationale: Everybody is practically able to understand the terms before using the service. Terms of use should help users to understand the conditions of the service. While they also protect the service provider and address legal requirements, the language should favor understanding over formal legal expressions. “Terms of Service; Didn’t read” (https://tosdr.org) provides one way of doing this. Summarizing and explaining the terms such as Kickstarter does it (https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use) might be another way.

Clarity about use of data

There is a clear and complete statement of how what is done with user-generated data.

Rationale: Users need to know in advance what happens to data they upload to the service so that they can take an informed decision about what data to give to the service.

Clarity about who has access to data

There is a clear and complete statement of who has access to which parts of user-generated data and under which conditions.

Rationale: Users should be in control of what others see of their data. For that they need to be informed who has access to what data and how data is presented.

Clarity about where data is stored

There is a clear and complete statement of where data is processed and stored.

Rationale: Users need to be able to decide if they want to put their data under the jurisdiction of the location where the data is processed and stored.

Clarity about how data is shown

If user-generated data is shown to other users the user who owns the data has a way of viewing the data in the same way other users see it.

Rationale: Users should be in control of how their data is presented. That requires that they have a way to see how their data is seen by others so that they can change it according to their own needs and wishes.