Term-inate and Oslo’s first Legal Hackathon

Staff profile: David Zacks, Head of Compliance
September 24, 2018
EBA workshop: recommendations on cloud outsourcing
October 23, 2018

I was thrilled to take part in Norway’s first Legal Hackathon, held at Gyldendalhuset in Oslo, Friday September 21st to Saturday 22nd.

The event was organised by Lawbotics and supported by number of partners such as UiO’s Legal FacultyWiersholmKlugeHjort, E&Y, KPMG and PWC, as well as other large players from the local legal industry.

The event was fully-subscribed and more than 140 participants took part in the competition. We were split into teams and given 24-hours to create an innovative solution, combining law and technology. The scoring was based on: innovation level, user-friendliness, technical side, monetary value and the size of the potential target market.

A solution to help unlock tricky and lengthy terms and conditions 

In my capacity as head of legal at Auka, I participated in a team alongside other legal practitioners, students and engineers. Our brief was to create a solution that facilitated “easier access to law”. Having in mind that the wider the hypothetical audience for the developed solution, the better (in terms of final judging and scoring), we prepared a product prototype based around a concept that made it easier for the everyone to decipher and find the “tricky bits” of standard terms and conditions.

Companies know that customers typically don’t spend a long time analysing the rules that go along with their services or products. People often scroll through pages of text as quickly as possible just to click accept and move on to the next steps. The product we proposed and built the prototype of would rely initially on crowd or community input and later become supported  machine learning tools. It will highlight the most “sensitive” parts of a long list of T&Cs to the customer.

We met the criteria by creating a product that makes it easier for anyone, regardless of who they are, to be more informed about their legal obligations. We recognise that the majority of the public don’t have experience with lengthy legal texts and time to analyse everything they have to agree to in their everyday usage of the internet. This solution would give consumers more control when providing their personal consent.

Despite tough competition with many exciting solutions proposed, our team’s tool (“Term-inate”) for highlighting misleading parts of terms and conditions agreements was chosen as the best overall solution. We also achieved third place as the “audience favorite”.

The inaugural event was a great success, both in terms of presented solutions and attendance and we are looking forward to participate in the event next year!

Our team consisted of: Atle Oftedahl, Caspar Vinje Hagland, Cecilia Vinje Hagland, Mads Lindbäck, Maria Fonneløp Inderberg, Natalia Przystasz, Ståle Hoberg, Trude Kristensen, Véra-Ilhem Elfadi-Mohr.