In an interesting turn of events, a French court declared itself competent to judge a case against Facebook, the French regional newspaper Ouest-France reports.
The lawsuit was brought forward by a French user based in Bayonne, who complains that he suffered damages when the social network decided to close his accounts. While the court of appeal of Pau hasnâ€™t fully examined his specific case yet, it has already clarified that the lawsuit can take place in France.
This is a fairly bold decision; in its terms of service, Mark Zuckerbergâ€™s company determines that Delawareâ€™s law will be applicable and that Californiaâ€™s courts will be the default jurisdiction for any dispute that may emerge.
However, the French magistrates deemed this clause irrelevant, and their reasoning is quite interesting.Â For instance, they insisted on the fact that Facebookâ€™s ToS are difficult to browse. Not only is the controversial mention â€ślost in the middle of many other clauses, which arenâ€™t numberedâ€ť but the document is hard to read, even more so â€śfor the average skilled French Internet userÂ on a mobile or a computer screenâ€ť.
As a result, the court decided to consider that French users couldnâ€™t knowingly consent to making the US the default jurisdiction of their contract with Facebook.
If it wasnâ€™t enough, this decision also points out that Facebook gets a financial return for the services it provides. Even if it claims it is free, its users actually hand out personal data, which represents â€śa sizable source of revenueâ€ť for the company, the court wrote.
What do you think of this decision? Let us know in the comments.