German consumer protection association files suit against Apple, Google for App Store policies

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The German Consumer Protection Association (VZBV) has been looking into the terms and conditions of smartphone application stores and did not like that they found.

They found 25 issues with Apple’s polices, 25 with Google, 19 with Samsung, 15 with Nokia and 10 with Microsoft.

They found the terms and conditions were extremely complicated and difficult to understand for consumers, and some of the conditions were contrary to European Consumer law.

Both Microsoft and Nokia immediately addressed the concerns and certified that they were now in compliance. Samsung also addressed their issues but did not issue any certification.

Apple and Google were not so forthcoming, and Apple, whose terms and conditions were 21 pages in size 9 font, merely added some paragraph breaks, while Google made no changes at all.

Google’s unified terms and conditions for their services  contained too many clauses that used words like "maybe, sometimes, possibly, potentially" etc. that made it difficult for a consumer to know their rights regarding termination  warranty.

The VZBV has now files suite against Apple and Google in Berlin, in part  because they collected, analysed and did derivative work of personal information from users without the user permission.

We have not been fans of Microsoft’s SkyDrive terms and conditions, but at least they are very clear and explicit. It seems if European users care about transparency and privacy the Windows Phone Marketplace is still the way to go.

Via Heise.de

Thanks Milad for the tip.

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