YourOtherYou is a unique interactive experience enabling consumers to play extravagant pranks. Simply input a little info about a friend (phone, address, etc.) and we'll then use it, without their knowledge, to freak them out through a series of dynamically personalized phone calls, texts, emails and videos. First, one of five virtual lunatics will contact your friend. They will seem to know them intimately, and tell them that they are driving cross-country to visit. It all goes downhill from there. The Matrix integrates seamlessly into the experience and you can follow the progress of your prank in real-time online. Each piece of the campaign assures that the experience is as Google-proof as possible.
Now, according to techdirt, Amber Duick, who had been victimized by the prank, has sued Toyota, alleging among other things that she "'had difficulty eating, sleeping and going to work' after receiving a bunch of phone calls from this prank, believing that some 'lunatic' stranger was on his way from England to see her. At one point, she even received a bill from a hotel that this stranger supposedly 'trashed.'" Apparently, Toyota believes Duick agreed to be victimized in this matter!
How does Toyota defend the campaign? By claiming that Duick agreed to it. How, you ask? Well, Toyota sneakily inserts "permission" into a personality test it sends the "victim" of the prank, from the "friend" who initiated it. It's difficult to see how that kind of agreement stands up in court. Hiding an agreement for something entirely different (and pretty damn creepy) inside the agreement for a personality test from a friend? How is that informed consent?
It would be interesting, I think, to compare this consent form to those in which parties agree to arbitrate their disputes. Would you enforce a provision in an online agreement to purchase a book from Amazon that also included consent to be terrorized by a fictional stalker? And if not, why would you enforce an arbitration agreement that deprives the buyer of any feasible remedy for a legal wrong by the seller?