SEOUL, June 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) revealed Sunday that it has made adjustments to what it deemed as unfair clauses in the terms of service of four major social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and KakaoStory.
The four social media platforms did not clarify, in their terms of service, the limitations of the use of uploaded content, allowing businesses to make use of user-created content for commercial purposes without permission from the copyright owner. The terms also made it impossible for authorities to regulate these illicit practices.
Current copyright law in Korea obliges businesses to obtain a copyright owner’s consent prior to using his or her online content.
Under the new regulations, the FTC has obliged social media platforms to specify usage limitations for different content, including photos, text, and videos, as well as allow users to limit the use of their own posts by others.
Clauses in the terms of service that exempted businesses from the responsibilities of server maintenance and user activities were either deleted or modified so that corporations remain partially accountable.
The FTC also made revisions to Facebook and Instagram’s terms that allowed businesses to use content and personal information for advertising. More specifically, content used for advertising purposes is now limited to only name, profile picture, and online activity.
In addition, businesses won’t be able to use uploaded content if a user deletes or deactivates his or her account. The commission also forbade businesses from retaining content that owners delete.
Clauses that allowed social media companies to change their terms of services or delete user accounts without prior notice have also been banned. Currently, Twitter and Instagram can terminate their service without notifying their users, and Twitter can also delete idle accounts without warning.
“The new revisions will help protect social media users’ rights and interests, and establish an improved fair trade culture in online communities,” said an FTC official.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)