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Korean FTC Recommends Google Korea to Correct YouTube's 'Unfair' Terms of Use
The First Watchdog to Tell Google to Revise Terms of Use
Korean FTC Recommends Google Korea to Correct YouTube's 'Unfair' Terms of Use
  • By Michael Herh
  • March 18, 2019, 11:37
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The Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has told Google Korea to amend articles in YouTube’s terms of service that it deemed unfair. 

The Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) told Google Korea on March 14 to amend an article in YouTube’s terms of service that allows it to unilaterally remove YouTube users' content or accounts. The FTC has become the first fair trade watchdog in the world to tell Google to revise its "unfair" terms of service.

The FTC cited one part in YouTube’s terms of service that allows the video portal to remove content or terminate a user’s account at its own discretion at any time without prior notice. The FTC pointed out that a user should be given an opportunity to challenge YouTube’s action, saying, “Content deletion and account termination restrict a user's right so there should be a concrete and rational reason for such an action.” Thus far, Google has removed content or terminated a user’s account when it judged that the content is inappropriate for viewing in YouTube without notifying the user of its action. But from now on, YouTube will not be able to do that.

The FTC also recommended YouTube to correct the articles that allow it to reuse a user’s content extensively and change the terms of use without prior notice, saying that they were also unfair. Furthermore, YouTube was told to rectify the article that makes users automatically agree to YouTube’s user information management policy when they choose “I Agree” in the process of creating their Google accounts. The FTC also advised Google to amend the article that allows YouTube to continue to use a user’s content even after its creator deleted it. "The collection and use of personal information should be explained separately from the terms of service and a user should be allowed to make a decision about it on his own," the FTC said.

"We have recommended YouTube to correct some parts of its terms of services that the video portal did not do so voluntarily," said Lee Tae-hwi, head of the Term Review Department at the FTC. Lee’s department has scrutinized the terms and conditions of online business operators. “If YouTube does not accept our recommendations within 60 days, we can issue a correction order. If YouTube ignores the order, we can file a complaint with the prosecution.”