The Higher Regional Court Berlin decides on the English Terms of Service of WhatsApp

In a decision which was announced on April 8, 2016 (5 U 156/14;), the Higher Regional Court Berlin had to decide on the action of the Federal Association of Consumer Protection Agencies against the company WhatsApp Inc. The Court ruled that the English terms of service must not be used as long as they are not available in the German language. The decision says: “daily routine English may be widespread; however, this does not apply to legal, contractual, or commercial English, as it is to be seen here. Consequently, all clauses of the terms of service framework are, as long as they are not translated into German from the beginning and regardless of their content to be seen as non-transparent and penalizing all consumers (aside from those with English mother tongue skills and specific technical language skills) in a non-loyal manner.”