Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I wondered if anyone could advise on the best way of storing a users acceptance of the Terms and Conditions in the database. I am in the UK if this changes anything.

I have had the T&Cs drawn up by a UK Lawyer so don't need any advice on that part!

At the moment I am thinking at the time of signup having a checkbox saying "I agree to the [linked] terms and conditions" and making sure this is checked to sign them up. In the database I will have a boolean saying True and also a Timestamp along with the email address they used to signup.

Is this enough, if a user ever decided they wanted to challenge their acceptance is this recognised as proof? I have been able to find very little, if no, information about this on the web.

share|improve this question
Just to clarify, "making sure this is checked" should be implemented as opt-in. I.e.: checked by the user, not checked by the form designer. You must have proof of user consent, and inaction does not prove consent. (EU rules apply here, AFAICT) – MSalters Jul 18 '11 at 13:54
Yes, that is what I was planning – bateman_ap Jul 18 '11 at 14:04

The documents may change when time passes. They get clarifications and modifications. Since this is a legal document, I would store the actual time of acceptance and link the acceptance to exact document version that was accepted. This prevent any ambiguities due the fact that users that registered on 2010 accepted version 1.2 and users registered later accepted version 1.3.

Also it does not hurt to store the actual documents to the database.

share|improve this answer

Usually T&C acceptance is a one-time event, so I don't see a need to handle a situation where users will want to revert their choice. If the T&C changes, you could always prompt the user to re-agree with the new terms, and go from there.

share|improve this answer
Agreed, I was more looking at whether my method of storing they had "agreed to the T&C" was the right way of going about it. I keep thinking, if you get someone to do something offline they sign something, is entering in your email and clicking a box comparable, especially if it is only code logic that you would have to back it up – bateman_ap Jul 17 '11 at 22:05
I would really think that is sufficient. There are no other methods possible. The best you can do is store a boolean value of whether or not the user agrees to it. No digital companies make you sign anything or require any other checks to that T&C agreement. I would follow suite with the big dogs of software and go with just that. – user29981 Jul 18 '11 at 0:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.