Italian anti-competition regulator says iCloud terms could be illegal

An Italian antitrust body investigating Apple, Google and others has discovered an error in three key Apple iCloud terms that a user must agree to before using the service.

Italian authority Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) has released a report concluding its investigation into Apple, Google and Dropbox’s cloud service. An investigation was launched last year.

The Italian market competition guarantee body has noted its remarks on how iCloud reserves the right to change the terms at any time, the degree to which companies try to avoid liability and the lack of transparency in data security.

The AGCM report also highlighted a little-known fact about iCloud. In translation, the report says, “If a device has not been backed up on iCloud within a period of one hundred and eighty (180) days, Apple reserves the right to delete backups associated with that device.” This means that if you don’t use your iCloud account for six months, Apple could delete everything stored in the cloud, including health app data records and device settings. The AGCM claimed that most users were not aware of this clause.

The regulator added that the contract terms for Apple, Google and Dropbox were unfairly distorted in favor of the companies. Furthermore, it was claimed that Apple users were not informed about how the company was backing up user data in the cloud. Instead, iCloud users are simply encouraged to make their own backups as well.

The AGCM report concluded that Apple and other investigated companies have unfair terms of use that may be illegal. However, the report did not suggest any corrective action, nor did it even touch on what the Italian regulator plans to do with the findings.

Apple reportedly contributed to the investigation and commented on each of the above points. He argued that its terms and conditions could not violate the laws defining the extent to which the terms applied. It added that conditions had changed only twice in five years, once only to change the company name.

Earlier, AGCM rejected Apple’s decision to intentionally slow down the iPhone with chemically discharged or depleted batteries.

[Via 9to5Mac]

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Naveen Kumar

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