Facebook and Twitter Must Follow EU Consumer Rules

Facebook and Twitter will face sanctions if they do not comply with consumer rules set out by the European Union by the end of 2018, said the EU as regulators continue cracking down on social media behemoths from the U.S. over concerns of privacy.

Platforms online have become a focal point for European regulators due to their dominance and the business practices regulators call anti-competitive. That has resulted in hefty fines give to some of the companies.

Regulators told both Twitter and Facebook over seven months ago to bring user terms for their platforms in line with rules of the EU but both have not fully addressed all issues, said the European Commission on Thursday.

Airbnb, in contrast, has made all necessary changes after the online booking company was told to, just three months ago said Vera Jourova the European Justice Commissioner.

She told the media at a news conference that if the EC did not see progress, sanctions would follow, as we are not able to negotiate forever, and need to see results. Both Facebook and Twitter must make necessary changes no later than yearend or national consumer bodies would impose sanctions.

The EC has said previously that it was concerned about the liability of the companies and how users become informed about removal of content and termination of contracts.

Facebook said that it already had made several changes and was going to continue cooperating with authorities.

The company through a prepared statement said that it had updated the terms of service for Facebook in May and that included most of the changes that the European Commission and Consumer Protection Cooperation Network proposed back then.

The Facebook statement continued by saying that its terms were much clearer now on what is and is not allowed to be put on Facebook and the options users have.

Changes to the user terms for Airbnb include showing the full price of bookings as well as extra fees, whether the offer is made by a professional or private host and consumer have a right to proceed with legal action if deemed necessary.