The European Commission and Member States’ consumer authorities ask social media companies to comply with EU consumer rules
On Thursday 16 March, EU consumer authorities and the European Commission met with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to hear and discuss their proposed solutions to two areas of concern: a growing number of consumers have complained about having been targeted by fraud or scams when using social media websites, as well as having been subject to certain terms of services that do not respect EU consumer law. On this occasion, Commissioner Jourová said: “Social media has become part of our daily lives and a majority of Europeans use it regularly. Given the growing importance of online social networks it is time to make sure that our strong EU rules, that are there to protect consumers from unfair practices, are complied with in this sector. It is not acceptable that EU consumers can only call on a court in California to resolve a dispute. Nor can we accept that users are deprived of their right to withdraw from an on-line purchase. Social media companies also need to take more responsibility in addressing scams and fraud happening on their platforms. I want to thank the EU consumer authorities who have worked tirelessly with the Commission on this important issue over the past months. From today, social media companies have one month to come up with solutions to comply with EU rules.” In November 2016, EU consumer authorities, under the leadership of the French consumer authority and with the support of the European Commission, sent a letter to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ last November asking them to address these problematic practices. The companies will finalise detailed measures on how to comply with the EU regulatory framework within one month. The Commission and the consumer authorities will review the final proposals. If they are not satisfactory, consumer authorities could ultimately resort to enforcement action.