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

Virtual money and user's identity

6 hours ago

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

Spotify prompts industry debates on streaming

Nov 24, 2014

From board rooms in Japan to songwriter's rooms in Nashville, a debate is brewing in music industry circles about the financial and creative value of streaming music, even as its popularity and impact skyrocket.

User comments : 0

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.