French group files privacy suit against social networks

Mar 25, 2014
The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013

France's leading consumer rights group said on Tuesday it had filed suit against Twitter, Facebook and Google accusing the Internet giants of breaching privacy laws.

UFC-Que Choisir said it had filed suit in the Paris high court for "abusive" and "illegal" practices in the conditions of use on the Twitter, Facebook and Google+ social networks.

The group, which advises consumers about services, products and their rights, warned the companies last summer that it would file suit if they did not address concerns over terms of use and data-collection practices.

"After several months of talks and despite our warnings, they are stubbornly maintaining clauses that the association considers abusive or illegal," UFC-Que Choisir said in a statement.

The name Que Choisir means "how to choose".

The organisation said the terms of use for the sites were "inaccessible, unreadable and full of hypertext links" with some links available only in English.

"Worse, the networks persist in authorising the widespread collection, modification, preservation and use of the data of users and even of those around them," it said.

"Faced with such abuses," the group is asking French judges to "order the suppression or modification of the myriad of contentious clauses imposed by these companies."

European nations including France have increasingly cracked down on the controversial policies of global Internet giants.

In January, France's data protection watchdog imposed a 150,000-euro ($207,000) fine—the maximum possible—on Google for failing to comply with privacy guidelines.

Explore further: Spain watchdog fines Google for privacy 'violations' (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

17 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

18 hours ago

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

Fighting cyber-crime one app at a time

Oct 22, 2014

This summer Victoria University of Wellington will be home to four Singaporean students researching cyber threats. The students have been working with Dr Ian Welch, a lecturer in Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer ...

User comments : 0