iCloud’s terms and conditions are in violation of Norwegian law, a local consumer advocate group has found after analyzing the terms and conditions of seven cloud storage providers operating in the country. The study was conducted by the Consumer Council earlier this year (via ZDNet).
As it turns out, Apple’s iCloud terms and conditions comply the least with Norwegian law. The matter represents a high level of importance since about 40% of local consumers rely on cloud services, but very few go through the terms and conditions of the services they are signing up for.
And iCloud’s lengthy (more than 8,600 word) agreement is “particularly bad” due to its length and language, which makes it even harder to understand. In fact, according to the Consumer Council, iCloud’s terms and conditions are “convoluted and unclear.”
The Norwegian ombudsman found it alarming that Apple has the right to unilaterally change the agreement. This particular right is in violation of the Marketing Act §22. Also, this leaves the consumer without real rights or security, as Apple can change the agreement without even notifying the user.
“We are convinced that all parties are better served with more user-friendly terms,” Finn Myrstad, head of digital services unit at the Consumer Council, said in a statement. “Apple offers to store valuable information on behalf of its users, but gives itself the right to amend the agreement at its sole discretion. As consumers, we are left with no real rights or security. Receiving notice when terms change should be a bare minimum requirement. The fact that this can be done without informing the users is unacceptable.”
This isn’t the first time that Apple’s iCloud terms and conditions have come into the spotlight: Earlier in March, we reported that when you sign up for iCloud, you automatically grant Apple access to your account. Most of us don’t go through the lengthy terms and conditions text, but sometimes it may be worth the time.