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EC urges Facebook, Google, Twitter to step up compliance with EU consumer law

The European Commission has urged Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. and Twitter Inc. to "do more" to fully comply with the EU consumer protection law.

"As social media networks are used as advertising and commercial platforms, they must fully respect consumer rules. ... EU consumer rules should be respected and if companies don't comply, they should face sanctions," Vera Jourová, European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, said.

The commission made the statement after it found that a number of changes made by the social media companies to their terms of service have only partially addressed concerns about liability issues to consumers, as well as about informing users about removing content or terminating service contracts.

The tech giants so far agreed to take up their fair share of responsibilities to EU users in relation to the performance of their services. In addition, EU consumers will not be forced to waive their consumer rights such as canceling online purchases, and they can now file complaints in their country of residence within the EU and not in California.

The companies are expected to apply these changes to their terms of service in the first quarter of 2018.

In March 2017, the European Union's consumer authorities warned Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter of fines if they would not modify their terms of service to comply with EU laws.