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Years ago, WhatsApp was sued by the Federation of German Consumer Associations for forcing German users to agree to English-language terms of service, breaking consumer protection rules. Berlin Superior Court of Justice concluded that WhatsApp didn’t comply with German law and on Monday, the court upheld the earlier judgment. If the ruling is finalized, WhatsApp will need to translate its terms of service and privacy policy into German language, or else it will face an administrative fine of up to €250,000, which is about $283,000. The sum isn’t enormous, but WhatsApp will prefer to not lose any money.



According to Federation of German Consumer Organizations CEO Klaus Müller, “Companies’ conditions are often long and difficult to understand for consumers” and “That the millions of German WhatsApp users don’t have to also read them in a foreign language, is an important signal to other foreign firms.”

It’s not that Germans don’t understand English language, as many of them speak it everyday, but the appellate court said that few speak the English legalese and don’t pay attention to terms of service and privacy policy, accepting them without caring what they’re “signing”.

Moreover, the court said that the application violated the German Telemedia Act, for not allowing users to directly contact a company representative in Germany, in order to get answers when they had problems or concerns.

Now, we’re waiting to see if WhatsApp will be able to appeal again, but this time, the war would be moved in the federal Supreme Court, as in Berlin, the company no longer can appeal. WhatsApp hasn’t commented on this problem yet, but we’re pretty sure that soon, we’ll hear more information from the representatives.

However, German users and not only, who want to install the latest beta update on their Android devices, are able to download version 2.16.89 directly from the Google Play Store.

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