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The Federation of German Consumer Associations used WhatsApp sometime back over the issue of forcing German users to agree to terms of service in the English language. They claimed it broke consumer protection rules.  A Berlin Superior Court of Justice agreed that WhatsApp failed to comply with a German law, and another court upheld this judgment recently.

If finalized, WhatsApp will be required to translate the entire terms of service and privacy policy into German or be fined $283,000. While the money amount isn’t all that much, the developers of WhatsApp don’t want to pay it.

Klaus Muller, CEO of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, said companies make it hard for consumers to understand their terms and conditions, and millions of WhatsApp users in Germany have an even harder time reading it in a foreign language.

The problem is not that Germans can’t understand the English language, they just don’t understand English legalese and hardly go over the terms of service and privacy policy. They tend to accept them without really knowing what they’ve signed up for.

According to the court, the app developers violated Germany’s Telemedia Act, as it doesn’t put users into direct content with a German company representative if they have any questions or concerns.

Will WhatsApp Appeal The Ruling Once More?

It’s not known if WhatsApp will appeal the ruling once more. However, if so, the fight moves to Federal Supreme Court (Berlin) and there will no more appeals after this. There’s been no word about the issue from WhatsApp representatives, although it’s sure to come in the near future.
For people who want the latest BETA update of WhatsApp on their Android device, they can get 2.16.89 from Google Play Store.