Facebook has just 60 days to change its terms and conditions for French users

France's consumer protection agency says the social network's terms of use are unfair and illegal under French law.

Facebook has just 60 days to change its terms and conditions for French users, or face legal sanctions.

France's Directorate-General for Competition, Consumers and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) has audited the social network's terms of use and concluded that they contain unfair contract terms illegal under French law.

With its 60-day deadline, the DGCCRF jumps to the head of the line for Facebook's lawyers' attention: On Monday night the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) gave the company 90 days to stop some transfers of its users' personal information to the U.S., and to change the way it handles the data of visitors its website.

The DGCCRF defines contract terms as unfair when they create a significant imbalance, to the detriment of the consumer, in the rights and obligations of the parties to a contract.

The directorate examined the terms of use set by Facebook Ireland and Facebook Payments International, the two companies responsible for Facebook users outside North America.

Among the contract conditions it found detrimental to Facebook users were clauses giving the company the right to remove content published by users on the social network, or to unilaterally change the terms of use without prior notice or by assuming consent. The Facebook Payments contract came in for similar criticism, with the directorate highlighting as unfair clauses giving the company the right, without advance notice, to unilaterally modify its terms of use or to unilaterally modify or terminate its payment service.

After giving Facebook the opportunity to respond to the charges, the DGCCRF has ordered Facebook Ireland and Facebook Payments International to either delete or modify the unfair clauses in its contracts with consumers within 60 days. Facebook can appeal the ruling.

Those using a Facebook account for professional purposes (such as a plumber with a Facebook page promoting their business) aren't affected, as under French law business users are considered to be better informed about unfair contract terms.

It's almost two years since French consumers' assocation UFC-Que Choisir filed suit in a Paris court, asking it to strike out unfair contract terms it said were used not only by Facebook but also by Google and Twitter.  

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?