Dropbox's new arbitration clause takes away your right to sue — so take it back!

Dropbox's new arbitration clause takes away your right to sue — so take it back!
By Rene Ritchie on 28 Feb 2014 06:18 pm EST

Popular online storage app Dropbox has updated their terms of service (ToS) and that includes a new clause that would have any disputes setlled by an arbiter of their choosing. That means, if your privacy is ever violated, your data ever damaged, or anything goes wrong in any way at any point in time, you won't be able to sue either directly or as part of a class action. And that may not be a good thing.

Here's how the Dropbox blog explains it:

Arbitration. We’re adding arbitration clauses to our Terms of Service and Dropbox for Business online agreement. Arbitration is a faster and more efficient way to resolve legal disputes, and it provides a good alternative to things like state or federal courts, where the process could take months or even years. If you prefer to opt out of arbitration in the Terms of Service, there’s no need to fax us or trek to the post office — just fill out this quick online form.

There are several compelling arguments for why you might want to opt-out and preserve all your options under the law. If so, your have 30-days to head on over to the online form and get it done.

Mull it over and let me know what you decide to do!

Topics: Dropbox Opt-out Apps

Reader comments

Dropbox's new arbitration clause takes away your right to sue — so take it back!


Just click the tap the link, sign in, type your first, then last name click submit! Done!!

No paying, and took me 30 seconds (could have done it in 15 I think if I was paying attention to page load or used the BlackBerry browser instead of the in-app CB browser!

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

You're right. I opened it in BlackBerry Browser and it did take me less than 30 seconds.

Posted via CB10

Yup. I just signed the form. Nice try DropBox...but I didn't fall for it.

Posted using my amazing Z10...BB4All

I will never use Dropbox. Why should I store sth. to them where they can access all of them ? It is like putting your own stuff in someone else's house.

Posted via CB10

No you didn't hear that, you heard many of is suggest this is a must from BlackBerry.

I don't think BlackBerry has the funds or resources to manage 5-10GB of data for 80'000'000 users!

Also those that have their faith in Box, their CEO middle of last year at the last All Things D publicly stated their done supporting BlackBerry - he's a young and intelligent CEO but still he's young and goes with fashion trends like ios.

BlackBerry Q10  & Full Metal CB10!

I don't need any more features from Box than I've already got. I love that my photos get backed up automatically. As long as Box doesn't change their API so the existing BlackBerry 10 client stops working, I'm good.

Posted via CB10

@Supa_Fly1: Here's what Box's CEO actually said about BlackBerry: "clearly, that is not going to be one of our big investment areas going forward. But we still have to support it and all of our current customers using it."

BlackBerry bought and sold a cloud service provider between 2012 and 2013.

Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.

Another reason now for me to continue using Box rather than DropBox.

I us Box and One Drive, but anything even remotely sensitive gets full AES encryption before uploading. I'm a developer, and I store backups of my version control repository on OneDrive. The batch file I use to export and upload does the encryption automatically.

Posted via CB10


Yeah...what does New Zealand know about Security?! They let two hobbits trek across the country to their government's headquarters and throw their worst-kept-secret into a pit of acid!

I MAY have been drunk when reading the books though...

I use Box as a backup mechanism for the microSD card in my BlackBerry Q5. Also, if I ever need to travel to the USA I can take a clean legacy BlackBerry smartphone and microSD card for the privacy thieving DHS and CBS on the return trip. Shipping my real smartphone via courier if necessary.

Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.


Excellent reporting!! THIS is what CB Nation needs to see, not carrier plan update junk - we get that regardless.

This is investigative research. You've been bumped up a few notches in my article filtering!!

BlackBerry Q10  & Full Metal CB10!

FB probably wants to buy them and they are giving you time to opt out before they buy them after that you have to read the small print which most people don't do.HAHAHA

Then use Wuala. It is the most secure one, and no US servers involved, which is important. Servers are in Switzerland, France and Germany !

No it IS integrated into BBM too not just BB10, look at the android and iOS versions.

Posted via CB10

Oh wow, a shortcut icon. Still not integrated. I can hit the Dropbox icon and with two swipes be in my home computer or Box. It's just a shortcut, people.

In the latest Box clients you can share a link to anything on the quick share menu, including BBM. It's easy.

Go into file manager, switch to Box, find the file you want to share, long press on it, select Share Link from the context menu. Done.

No thank you. I will continue to use my own NAS in raid 1 mode with weekly backups to an external drive and kept off site.

For my sensitive data that is. Google can keep all my spam and flyer emails.

Mashed from my Zed 10

This is why I signed up for sync.com. They have zero knowledge about what you store, and are offering free 5GB account or $50 for 500GB.
I've also confirmed with them that they are working on a native BB10 app.

Interesting. I just read through some of the faqs on their site and it almost looks like they have a BlackBerry security way of doing things. Hmm, I will be keeping my eye on them...

Posted with my CB10 using the power of " Q "

Sync.com operates about five minutes from my office. Been looking into their api myself.

Posted via CB10

Well I don't really have important stuff on Dropbox and with only 2g available to me I rarely use it... go for the Box...or even pogoplug.

Posted via CB10

This is not a secret hidden thing, everyone who is a Dropbox member got an email about this. I opted out obviously but still shady for Dropbox to pull such a thing.

I guess they are making sure nothing goes wrong from now to IPO launch. Greed is in air during these tech bubble days.

So if you have to do it within 30 days, then any new users after that won't be eligible to opt out?

Posted via CB10

In Bbm when I try to add a file using the paperclip the only file option I have is Drop Box. Is this going to change??

Posted using my amazing and intelligent Z10

What is a Drop Box and why would you trust your digital valuables to it? Seems to me large capacity SD cards in a personal safe is the way to go, but that's just me.

Posted via CB10

Good call. Sometimes it's the threat of being sued that keeps people honest.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Never used, never trusted Dropbox and boy am I glad I have one more good firm reason not to ever think about them and their service no more!
Wouldn't be great if BlackBerry would make a Cloud Storage service and provide It as a complement with any BlackBerry User/Device....

Powered by BlackBerry® 10 ✱

Thanks Rene! It is good to know someone is watching out for and educating fools like me who would otherwise pay no attention to things like this. When you translate things into a bigger picture, it makes a big difference.

Posted via CB10

Not a big deal. They're not being sneaky, arbitration is just cheaper. Many companies/people are moving towards clauses like this. Stop framing it like they're stacking the cards.

Posted via CB10

They are being sneaky since it is opt-out and THEY get to choose the arbitrator. I will NEVER enter into a contract or agreement with any company that says we get to choose who settles disputes.

Posted via CB10

And that's why I don't believe in cloud services if any kind. There is virtually no accountability possible. Exactly who is the cloud?

Posted via CB10

First of all let me say to everybody.
Just stay out if thus online storage / cloud storage etc. And these boxes of nonsense. These are pure BS to get your info and market them in different ways. They may be even selling the content that you store. Who knows and there is no way to find out. This whole online storage thing is a really scam.
I have my own network drive and I use it every effectively. Never went for these drives/ boxes etc.

Posted via CB10

Opt out. All the same I refuse to store any real personal data on cloud storage at this point in time.

Posted via CB10

My 2 cents. Most arbitration clauses that you find in agreements do not allow either party to go to court BEFORE going for arbitration. If the arbitration doesn't settle the matter, you CAN go to court, it's a basic right

Posted via CB10

I agree. Most people do not seem to even understand what the fuss is about before declaring they are going to stop using it.

If Dropbox really do you wrong, there is no way they can get out of their liability.

Posted via CB10

I just sent a email to the developer of Enpass application. I attached the link to this article and I asked him if he can move the backup from Dropbox to Box. I want to move everything to box, hopefully BlackBerry will integrate Box with our phones also.

Visit my BBM Channel C000E96F6

I'm going to preserve my rights and my personal belongings the best way I know how! It's called DELETE!

I deleted Whatsapp too because I didn't like what I read about them.

If you need to store personal data in a 'secure enviroment' just buy a 1 TB passport. $100 for a good one and no one can see your personal files!


Posted via CB10

I've seen something similar posted in other places. I'm not sure why drop box is the only one getting attention for this when companies have jumped on this bandwagon for the past year. Maybe because they're the only ones that actually made it easy to opt out instead of hiding it in their pages and pages of terms and conditions.

Definitely opting out.

So tired of arrogant companies trying to pull the legal rug out from users behind their back, so they can get away with murder. SMH

To Crackberry staff writers: how about an an article with a table of top 10 cloud storage solutions and their language whether or not they their current ToS includes an arbitration clause.
Lastly, to all people who seem outraged over Dropbox's actions, just remember, you're not being forced to use their service and in many cases users are not paying any fees. For those that are saying they are ditching Dropbox: good for you there are plenty of alternatives, but in my opinion Dropbox, when used appropriately is a great tool. For sensitive information Canada based CryptoHeaven http://cryptoheaven.com/, is a good solution and includes though it's biggest strength is secure email.

OP, thanks for writing and starting a good discussion.

Posted via CB10

The vast majority of contracts with corporations contain dispute resolution clauses such as arbitration clauses (including BBM terms and conditions) or clauses that specify venue (Box for instance requires any actions to take place in California), and I'm surprised this wasn't there earlier with dropbox. This is done in order to protect these companies from having to get local counsel in the large number of venues throughout the world where their product can be accessed, and instead they have the predictability of venue and can have counsel already in those locations. Move along nothing to see here.

I opted out. You never want to waive your rights in situations like this. I'm in the legal profession and believe me arbitration hearing officers normally favor the corporations and you would in most cases will not have appeal rights. Not Al

Posted via CB10

So I guess all new customers are accepting this shaite when the ok the huge form that nobody reads....

Posted via CB10

Definitely opted out. Everyone needs to check out the documentary Hot Coffee, this will show you what arbitration is all about.

C00270EBC check out my Tattoo channel! Brought to you by Laughing Buddha Tattoo and Body Piercing

I don't know how arbitration works in USA but in France, it's a good way to solve little or medium sized conflicts at no cost.
The arbitration process is implemented within a lawsuit: you have to engage a judicial procedure to get arbitration. They are not separated.

However, some companies have their own legal bureau within that tries to solve any conflicts between the firm and the customers to avoid lawsuits.

Lawsuits are very cheap in term of money = justice is free here. Lawyers aren't expensive and you only pay justice's fees if you lose or it was an abusive request (since it's free, people have fun creating new "jurisprudence")

Hahaha the ToS violate Canadian privacy laws and as Facebook and Twitter have found out they will Lose to the laws and have to make ammendment to their services to meet Canadian privacy laws. These tech firms always learn the hard way

Posted via CB10

I NEVER used a cloud service and will never do... just because of stuff like that... I am the owner of my data and no one else!!!

Ferrari ZetaDieci

So what happens to people who sign up after 30 days? Are they just automatically screwed?


Posted from my brain to your screen via CBQ10

And that's why I use owncloud installed on an old server I have. I get pretty much all of the main functionality as Dropbox but none of this kind of nonsense. It's just a bit more involved in maintenance, which I don't mind.

Posted via CB10

Haha, I have to laugh at the technology sheep. I don't use any of that garbage because u know how people are....specially those with power. All those that use Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, cloud services, I'm going to laugh my ass off when things go bad. Why laugh? Because you have a brain and choose not to use it.

I prefer to have my things in my possession. I don't mind if it takes a little longer or is not as convenient, at least I have control and not some doofus I've never met.

Great article!

Posted via CB10

I'm going to laugh my ass off when your house burns down and all your backups are in one place... your house.

Not really... I won't laugh cuz that would be a terrible event, but there are good reasons for using cloud storage as long as you are aware of the risks. I just apply full AES encryption to anything I upload to the cloud.

Posted via CB10

My cousin playing around with my phone, sorry :/

Posted Via CB10 Running On Z10STL100-2 Using OS Version

Silly Americans. Judges in Canada would laugh at dropbox's lawyers as they approve a class action lawsuit.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for the great post Rene!

Done! Box is in. Dropbox OUT!...and it just so happens that I prefer Box anyways. WiN:WiN,z

Posted via CB10

I 'dropped' Dropbox for 3 reasons:

1.) I don't agree with the new Terms.

2.) Apparently, after anything has been stored with a cloud provider for 180 days it is no longer legally considered private papers by law enforcement who can obtain it without a warrant.

3.) With the NSA, GCHQ, CSEC & FBI and who knows who else, running around warrantlessly gathering up all our telcom, email and Internet info like we are enemies of the state, I decided to keep my data, fully encrypted, on my own server.

If any spy agency or law enforcement body wants to rifle through my personal information they can get a warrant.

Posted via CB10

Good thing I opted to use box...I felt like Dropbox would do something evil in the future.

Posted via CB10

I use Dropbox many years and have 100 gb free storage
Sorry but my English isn't so good, so can someone explain please what has changed in the terms of Dropbox ?
I can't understand the article and the meaning of it
Thank you all

From My Sexy Blackberry Z10

Read the new dropbox TOS. This article and the links it is based on are misunderstanding the new clauses.

It is incorrect to say that you loose the chance to sue dropbox. Read the "Exceptions to Agreement to Arbitrate.". It clearly indicates that under specific circumstances you can still sue them.

Although you cannot take part of a class action suit, arbitration is a fastest way to resolve a dispute. And even better if Dropbox pays for it. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is a serious entity that won´t let dropbox buy any arbitration result.

I rather prefer arbitration than litigation, knowing that Dropbox will pay all arbitration fees for claims less than $75,000

Deleted my account a few weeks ago. Did the right thing :D. Box and mega are at least as good as dropbox!

Posted via CB10