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Normative Degradation

Normative Degradation

Deleting Rights without Consent in the Name of Contract

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter Two Normative Degradation
Source:
Boilerplate
Author(s):
Margaret Jane Radin
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691155333.003.0002

This chapter examines the normative degradation caused by the apparent lack of consent to boilerplate. It first considers the varieties of nonconsent to which consent is contrasted, including coercion and its related conceptions of force and duress; fraud, with its allied notions of misrepresentation and deception; and sheer ignorance. It then discusses problematic consent, focusing on situations involving “information asymmetry” and heuristic biases. It also explores strategies of assimilating World B to consent, with particular emphasis on the devolution of voluntary agreement. The chapter shows that consent is problematic even when recipients click a box that says “I agree,” because it remains unclear what they could actually be agreeing to.

Keywords:   normative degradation, consent, boilerplate, nonconsent, coercion, sheer ignorance, information asymmetry, heuristic biases, voluntary agreement, problematic consent

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