In summer 2016, as a result of a complaint from the Norwegian Consumer Council, the Consumer Ombudsman demanded that Tinder make several changes to the terms and conditions for its app.
‘It must always be possible for consumers to understand what they are actually agreeing to when they download an app. We are pleased that Tinder has now decided to make its terms and conditions more concise and clear. It is now easier for consumers to familiarise themselves with the conditions they accept when they start using the app,’ says Consumer Ombudsman Elisabeth Lier Haugseth.
Tinder has now made several changes to its terms and conditions, meaning, among other things, that:
- Norwegian consumers will be able to read the terms and conditions in Norwegian
- The terms and conditions are now simpler and shorter
- A brief summary of the terms and conditions is presented before the agreement is accepted
- Norwegian and European consumer protection regulations apply
- App users in the EU/EEA will be entitled to solve disputes with Tinder in their country of residence
- Tinder’s right to user-generated content will be clarified. Among other things, Tinder is not entitled to use photos for marketing purposes without consent.
- Users will be notified in the event of any material changes to the service and the terms that affects users’ rights and obligations. A summary will show what changes have been made.
- User-generated content will be deleted when an account is cancelled
- It is clarified what circumstances can lead to Tinder terminating the agreement with the user.
We are satisfied with the changes Tinder has implemented and therefore conclude the case. However, the case can be re-opened if consumer interests make this necessary. The Consumer Ombudsman will in the coming year specifically work to improve terms and conditions in the digital economy in general.
Important step from Tinder
Long and complicated terms and conditions for apps and other digital services are a widespread problem. The Ombudsman therefore hopes that Tinder, by making these changes, will also help to set the standard for other players in the industry. More traders should realise the need to make their terms and conditions more transparent and balanced.
‘We want to raise these issues in international forums, where we hope to arrive at a common standard for app terms and conditions. It is positive that the changes Tinder has implemented will also apply to their users in the rest of the world,’ says Haugseth.
Other social media
European consumer authorities have now asked the social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to change their terms and conditions so that they comply with European consumer law. The companies have also been told to do more to protect consumers against fraud. The Consumer Ombudsman has actively participated in this work.
Together with the UK, Norway is now also leading a project on terms and conditions in the digital economy through the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).