PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

I have just received an invitation to join a new website that will enable me to sign up and record information about my life and times, including my achievements as well as a “Bucket List”, relevant documentation, and some guidance to those that might read this tome, on how I might like my farewell from this mortal life to be conducted.

On one side I think it is a wonderful concept that could very much help other members of the family to properly deal with and access information at a time where research is difficult and time minimal.  Also with the way society has moved it is less so these days that we sit down with children and go through old photograph albums from our ancestors; for me as a child a single rainy afternoon with Mum and Dad could cover every existing photograph relating to one side of the family effectively from the advent of photography through to then (somewhere in the 1960’s!).  But today with the advent of initially cheaper photography and now digital photography this ability declines, as the quantum has increased exponentially.

Thinking that this was another of those overseas attempts to obtain family information for nefarious purposes, like marketing or selling things that I don’t really want but I have given them the means with which to prompt me to buy.  In the alternate it may just be about getting personal information that you think you are saving, not actually giving away; you’ve done that with other programmes and sites haven’t you?

So I jumped into the ‘About’ page and was pleasantly surprised to find an Australian ‘Pty Ltd’ company behind it with a valid ACN and some lovely warm and caring words around it; all very comforting.  Off to the Terms and Conditions.

Now I’m not going to sit here and try to deliver anyone any legal advice, that’s what lawyers are for, but a forage through the terms and conditions will possibly need some serious input from just such a specialist.  It does appear to look reasonable, but as I say I’m not the expert.  However as I got towards the end I found the shining light!

The document which is effectively the contract between me (an Australian) and the website operator (an Australian company) states definitively that the parties agree “that this agreement will be read in accordance with the laws of Singapore, and the parties agree to that jurisdiction for disputes”!  Now I have nothing against Singapore, and I’m sure that their laws are very good, but I do not have the money to find out that they are not.

These sorts of things really need regulatory intervention; by the sheer nature of the site there will be many that will sign up.  Let’s hope they don’t lose too much in the process.