Social networks GooglePlus, Facebook and Twitter have a month to finalise how they will comply with an EU regulatory framework or risk a fine, the European Commission (EC) said after receiving complaints from users who were targeted by fraudsters via social media websites.
“The Commission and the consumer authorities will review the final proposals. If they are not satisfactory, consumer authorities could ultimately resort to enforcement action,” an EU statement said.
EU consumer authorities, under the leadership of the French consumer authority, had sent a letter to the three firms in November 2016 asking them to address the issues.
In accordance with the EU’s Unfair Contract Terms Directive, social media networks cannot deprive consumers of their right to go to court in their member state of residence, or require them to waive mandatory rights such as their entitlement to withdraw from an online purchase.
The EU also said social media companies must remove any fraud and scams appearing on their websites which could mislead consumers, once they become aware of such practices.
Vera Jourova, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, said it was “not acceptable that EU consumers can only call on a court in California to resolve a dispute. Social media companies also need to take more responsibility in addressing scams and fraud happening on their platforms.”
Germany is also working on a new law asking social networks to remove slanderous or threatening online postings or face fines of up to €50 million, Reuters reported.