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Oscar Williams

News editor

The EU is calling on Facebook and Twitter to urgently implement user protections

Facebook and Twitter must act faster to make their terms of service fair for users, the European Commission has warned.

Alongside Google, the two companies were asked to change their terms in 2016, but many are amendments are yet to be implemented, according to European Commissioner for Justice, Verana Jourova.

“I am pleased that the enforcement of EU rules to protect consumers by national authorities is bearing fruit, as some companies are now making their platforms safer for consumers,” Jourova said. “However, it is unacceptable that this is still not complete and it is taking so much time.”

Google’s latest proposals appear to be aligned to requests made by consumer authorities, the EC said in a statement. However, Facebook and “more significantly, Twitter” have only partially addressed “important issues about their liability”.

According to an EC news release, the firms agreed to make the following changes in the first quarter of 2018:

  • The terms of services limiting or totally excluding the liability of social media networks in connection with the performance of the service
  • The terms requiring consumers to waive mandatory EU consumer rights, such as their right to withdraw from an on-line purchase
  • The terms depriving consumers of their right to go to court in their Member State of residence, and providing the application of California law
  • The term releasing the platform from the duty to identify commercial communications and sponsored content.

Jourova added: “As social media networks are used as advertising and commercial platforms, they must fully respect consumer rules.”