Consumer Group To Facebook, Twitter, Google: Speak French

By David Cohen 

ParlezVousFrancais650Facebook may soon be looking for some French translators, as PCWorld reported that French consumer-protection group UFC-Que Choisir issued summonses to the social network, along with Twitter and Google, to appear before the Paris High Court due to unclear portions of their user agreements, particularly those portions that are not in French.

According to PCWorld, UFC-Que Choisir said Facebook, Twitter, and Google had not responded to letters sent by its lawyers last June expressing its concerns, adding that the three Internet companies’ terms and conditions are still “just as unreadable,” and full of hypertext links to pages that are not in French.

UFC-Que Choisir Legal Counsel Amal Taleb told PCWorld the country’s law requires that terms and conditions be written in French, adding that users of the three companies’ services are not clear as to whether hyperlinked pages are part of the agreements.

Taleb told PCWorld UFC-Que Choisir wants Facebook, Twitter, and Google to shorten their user agreements, make them more clear, limit them to single pages, and email copies to users of the current versions when they sign up for services. He also singled out Facebook, saying that the social network often gives its users seven days’ notice about changes to its terms and conditions, while French law requires 30 days’ notice.

The three companies will be given the opportunity to provide written responses to the consumer-protection group, Taleb told PCWorld, so a ruling is likely several months away.

Readers: What was your reaction to the move by UFC-Que Choisir?

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