Apple faces a legal fight in Norway after the consumer watchdog argued that iCloud’s unclear terms and conditions leave Norwegians with no legal rights.
The Norwegian Consumer Council has complained that there are “discrepancies” between the iCloud terms and conditions and Norwegian law meaning that it is in breach of the law with regards to control of marketing and standard agreements.
Its main complaint is that Apple’s terms don’t implicitly state that it must inform Norwegian consumers when the terms change and this means that big changes can be made without the knowledge of those using the service.
“Receiving notice when terms change should be a bare minimum requirement. The fact that this can be done without informing the users is unacceptable,” says Finn Myrstad, head of digital services unit at the Norwegian Consumer Council, according to Cloud Pro.
It added the fact iCloud’s terms and conditions is over 8,600 words in length makes it “convoluted and unclear”. Norway’s chief consumer watchdog also pointed out that citizens using the service to store so much valuable information means that the terms should be as easy to understand as possible.
"Cloud storage services rely on users' trust and confidence. However, the current terms undermine this. It is important that consumer rights and privacy also apply to online services. We are convinced that all parties are better served with more user friendly terms", said Myrstad. “We hope that the Ombudsman will use its mandate to address the issue of digital consumer rights, and that the European Commission Expert Group on Cloud Service Contracts will take our views into consideration when coming with their recommendations in a few months.”
On its part the European Commission set up an expert group in June 2013 that is looking to devise safe and fair contract terms for cloud computing services for consumers and small firms that will tighten up regulations surrounding the likes of iCloud.