Facebook ordered to pay €30,000 in France over ‘abusive’ usage terms

The ruling came as France’s consumer protection agency said it had secured Facebook’s agreement to modify its terms of use by the end of June. ― AFP pic
The ruling came as France’s consumer protection agency said it had secured Facebook’s agreement to modify its terms of use by the end of June. ― AFP pic

PARIS, April 11 — A French court has ordered Facebook to pay €30,000 (RM139,000) over “abusive” terms-of-use agreements that people had to accept in order to access their social media accounts, the consumer group which filed the lawsuit said yesterday.

The ruling came as France’s consumer protection agency said it and the European Commission had secured Facebook’s agreement to “significantly modify its terms of use” by the end of June.

They will include “clear language” spelling out that Facebook makes money by allowing targeted advertising based on the contents of a user’s profile, the DGCCRF agency said.

The UFC-Que Choisir consumer group filed its case in 2014, saying 430 clauses in Facebook’s user agreement were abusive, including keeping and selling data indefinitely, even after an account is closed, and changing the terms of use without informing people.

A Facebook spokesman said the case involved terms of use that have since been modified.

“Guaranteeing the transparency of our tools and services, and providing clear information to our users, is essential for Facebook,” he said.

The ruling follows similar €30,000 fines against Google announced last month, and Twitter in August. Both were lodged by UFC-Que Choisir. — AFP