Sunday

15th Jul 2018

Facebook and Twitter weak on protecting users, says EU

  • Twitter and Facebook are not respecting consumer protection rules in the EU, says the European Commission (Photo: Tom Raftery)

The European Commission is demanding that US-based social media giants Facebook and Twitter fully respect European consumer protection laws.

The demand is part of a list of consumer complaints filed last March against the two, including Google+, for broadly failing to meet EU rules when it comes to tackling online scams, removing content, and allowing people to delete accounts.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

Chief EU commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels on Thursday (15 February) that Facebook and Twitter "have only partially met [EU's] requests". Only Google+ appears to have complied with the demands.

In a statement, EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said it was "unacceptable" that Facebook and Twitter are yet to make their platforms safer for people.

"EU consumer rules should be respected and if companies don't comply, they should face sanctions," she said. Only national authorities can impose sanctions such as fines.

Many of the complaints stem from people in Europe who have been victims of fraud, unwanted subscriptions and other online scams.

National consumer protection authorities want to make it easier to report and request the removal of such scams, but Facebook and Twitter have only provided them with an email address.

The commission says the standards need to be met to protect certain rights, like being able to withdraw from an online purchase, or lodge complaints in Europe rather than in the United States where the firms are based.

The pressure comes amid other plans to get the firms to be more proactive in removing illegal content.

In April, the commission is set to unveil a so-called 'New Deal for Consumers.'

The move is a follow up to a proposal floated last September, and aims to get companies to remove xenophobic and racist speech or anything deemed to incite terrorism.

EU Commission to target fake news

Mariya Gabriel, the EU digital economy commissioner, announces expert panel and says fake news can be tackled if people are given credible and diverse information.

EU to probe UK 'election-rigging' firm

MEPs are to investigate whether UK firm Cambridge Analytica and Facebook misused private data to sway votes amid increasingly lurid revelations.

EU leaders still in search of migration plan

Select EU leaders met amid rising tension over migration, with Italy's PM, who had threatened to boycott the summit, putting forward a new plans to stop boats from leaving Libya.

Feature

EU and Turkey fight for 'lost generation'

Some 300,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey are not enrolled in classes. Fears they may end up in sweatshops or forced to beg have triggered efforts by the EU, Unicef, and the Turkish government to keep them in school.

News in Brief

  1. EU opens case on Siemens' Alstom buyout
  2. Trump: May found my Brexit advice 'too brutal'
  3. Italy will reject EU-Canada trade deal, says deputy PM
  4. Commission: Juncker suffered from sciatica attack at Nato
  5. EU free wifi plan struck by IT error
  6. Europol launches 'World Cup game' to catch criminals
  7. Germany's Gabriel urges tougher dealing with Trump
  8. Eurozone to give Greece last bailout loan in August

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us