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Naughty UK Google cloud users can now be sued by Chocolate Factory in England

CMA beams: Look what we've done for consumer rights!

BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy have promised not to screw over their British consumer cloud customers with dodgy terms and conditions, according to the Competition and Markets Authority.

The promises are the latest result from the CMA's ongoing investigation into cloud service providers' contract terms, which the regulator says tend to discriminate against consumers.

Ever-popular telco BT, which also offers cloud backup services to consumers, has promised that "free accounts will not be terminated due to inactivity during the first 365 days of the contract".

It has also promised to give 90 days' notice in writing when it wants to zap unused cloud backup accounts.

In addition, the one-time state monopoly has "agreed to amend" its terms and conditions, which at present give it the right to unilaterally change prices midway through the contract.

Dropbox, meanwhile, has undertaken not to kill customers' accounts without notice, which – reading between the lines of the eight detailed undertakings it gave to the CMA about doing so – seems to have been something built into its previous Ts 'n' Cs by design.

Google, whose European presence is taking flak from all sides, has agreed to "ensure consumers are given an opportunity to remedy their breaches" before terminating their accounts, as well as giving 30 days' notice of a price increase "or storage plan decrease".

Most notably, Google will now "ensure that consumers are able to bring legal proceedings in their local courts and under their local laws" if it breaks the terms of its own contract – a provision which cuts both ways, as Google has got it in writing that it can now sue misbehaving customers under local laws, in retaliation for bowing to the British legal system.

Finally, Mozy, which provides Windows and Mac OS X backup services, made much the same promises as BT and Dropbox. The full set of undertakings that all four companies made can be viewed on GOV.UK. ®

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