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Social media companies need to do more to fully comply with EU consumer rules

Social media companies need to do more to respond to the requests, made last March by the European Commission and Member States' consumer authorities, to comply with EU consumer rules.

The changes made by Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to align their terms of services with EU consumer protection rules have been published recently.

These changes will already benefit more than a quarter of a billion of EU consumers who use social media: EU consumers will not be forced to waive mandatory EU consumer rights, such as their right to withdraw from an on-line purchase; they will be able to lodge their complaints in Europe, rather than in California; and the platforms will take up their fair share of responsibilities towards EU consumers, similarly to the off-line service providers. However, the changes only partially fulfil the requirements under EU consumer law.

The companies committed to implement changes to their terms in all language versions in the first quarter of 2018. The national consumer authorities and the Commission will monitor the implementation of the promised changes and will actively use the notice and action procedure provided by the companies. They will focus on illegal commercial content concerning unwanted subscriptions and other scams. Moreover, authorities may take action including enforcement measures where necessary.

The Commission will present in April a ‘New Deal for Consumers'. This reform will propose to modernise the existing consumer law and ensure that they are properly

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