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Comply with rules or face sanctions: EU to Facebook, Twitter

By Sheetal Sukhija, The Las Vegas News
20 Sep 2018, 23:57 GMT+10

BRUSSELS, Belgium - As regulators in the European Union continue to crackdown on U.S. social media giants over privacy and their business practices - now the bloc has issued a stern warning to U.S. firms Facebook and Twitter. 

Both the U.S. social media giants have been warned by the EU to either comply with the region's consumer rules or face strict sanctions. 

The EU has given both Facebook and Twitter time until the end of the year, to comply with European consumer rules or has warned strict action.

The warning comes in light of the recent scrutiny that internet firms have faced in Europe, which has pulled up organizations for their dominance and anti-competitive business practices.

Many such internet platforms have also been slapped with hefty fines.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, officials from the European Commission pointed that seven months after being told to bring their user terms in line with EU regulations, "both Facebook and Twitter have yet to fully address all the issues."

European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said, “If we don’t see progress, the sanctions will come. This is quite clear. We cannot negotiate for ever, we need to see the results.”

Jourova pointed out that while Facebook and Twitter had failed to address the issues, Airbnb, in contrast, had made the necessary changes after being told to do so three months ago.

A Commission spokesman said that Twitter should also make the necessary changes by year-end and pointed out that any sanctions would be imposed by national consumer bodies.

In its defence, Facebook has stated that it has already made a number of changes and would continue to cooperate with the authorities.

Facebook said in a statement, “We updated Facebook’s terms of service in May and included the vast majority of changes the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network and the European Commission had proposed at that point. Our terms are now much clearer on what is and what isn’t allowed on Facebook and on the options people have.”

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