European regulators are coming down hard on the largest social media companies regarding privacy concerns. Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc, and Twitter Inc must change their terms of service to appease the European Commission. The companies have one month to make the changes, or face the risk of fines.
According to Reuters, the three social giants will face potential actions if privacy issues remain. The European Commission is notoriously harsh in its regulations and has come down hard on several U.S. tech companies in the past.
Consumer protection authorities say they “take action to make sure social media companies comply with EU consumer rules.”.
Earlier this week, Germany announced plans to change its regulations regarding social media. The largest economy and population in the EU is planning a new law that would remove threatening posts quickly. The country will push companies like Facebook to remove these posts or risk fines of 50 million euros ($53 million).
Each company has been sent a letter stating that their policies are breaking EU laws. Specifically, Facebook, Google, and Twitter must do more to protect customers from website scams and fraud. A source says that the companies have since held productive meetings with regulators and have proposed a resolution to the issue.
Reuters says the letters point to a current term that customers must seek court redress for fraud in California, the home of all the companies. However, the EU contests that users should be able to go through legal process in their home nations.
Europe Clamping Down
Google’s problems with the EU are long and storied. The Commission has previously wanted to break the company up, demanded that it remove search from some services, and took the company to task over its in-app purchase pricing model.
Facebook has also faced the wrath of the European Commission. The company was accused of misleading the EU over its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp.
Indeed, Microsoft has also been the focus of EU regulators in recent months. The company was forced to make concessions in order for its LinkedIn acquisition to get approved. Last month we reported on the EU’s continued displeasure over privacy policies in Windows 10.