Facebook and Twitter are not doing enough to protect consumers, European Union warns

Facebook and Twitter are not doing enough to protect consumers, European Union warns

The European Commission said Thursday that United States social media giants have made an effort to comply with EU consumer protection rules, but that Facebook and Twitter have not made all the required changes. "Some companies are now making their platforms safer for consumers; however, it is unacceptable that this is still not complete and it is taking so much time".

The three major internet companies had published on Thursday the changes they are making to comply with the demands of European regulators, which must be implemented in all languages by spring. Facebook and Twitter have only partially addressed important issues about liability and the manner in which users are informed of possible content removal or contract termination.

European commissioner Vera Jourova said the use of social media networks as advertising and commercial platforms meant they faced the same rules as offline service providers. It should make sure that all companies that do not respect European Union law face serious and deterrent sanctions, including fines that are calculated on the basis of the company's annual worldwide turnover, on the geographical scope and the gravity of the infringement.

Facebook has already said it will re-design its services for Europe in accordance to the new terms.

A Google spokesman declined to comment and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The European Commission accuses Twitter for changing the general terms of use without notification.

Social networks are no longer prevented from taking advantage of the rights conferred by European law as regards consumer protection, and in the future will better identify both commercial communications and sponsored content.

USA technology companies have faced tight scrutiny in Europe for the way they do business, from privacy issues to how quickly they remove illegal or threatening content.

The commission did however welcome efforts made by Google to comply with the rules, such as ensuring it provided a deadline for fulfilling requests to remove illegal content online.

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