A French consumer group has filed suit against Google, Facebook, and Twitter claiming that the companies' privacy policies are illegible and incomprehensible for the average user.
On Tuesday, UFC-Que Choisir announced that it had filed the suit with the Tribunal de Grande Instance, the French High Court in Paris. The consumer group said that it had undergone several months of negotiations with the tech giants, where the companies refused to yield any changes to their policies, before filing the suit. In June, UFC-Que Choisir called for the companies to change their policies claiming that they were unlawful or unfair. The issue at stake is that the companies collect, store, and use consumers' data, and that of their contacts, without their express consent and without paying them for using the data.
"If the companies are getting greedy when it comes to data, they're on a diet when it comes to taking responsibility: they're abdicating all responsibility for their quality of service, which is provided "as is", and for the integrity of their data and content," said UFC-Que Choisir. One of the main issues the French consumer group has with the Twitter, Google, and Facebook's policies is that the terms and conditions themselves are "incomprehensible, illegible, filled with hyperlinks" and that even from the French sites, users are often referred to pages in English. "Faced with such abuse, UFC-Que Choisir has asked a French judge to order the removal or modification of the vast number of contentious clauses these companies impose," said the group in a statement
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