French group files privacy suit against social networks

March 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: Complaint in France to target Internet giants over spying

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.