Facebook nears WhatsApp data deal with EU regulator - Mobile World Live

Facebook nears WhatsApp data deal with EU regulator

11 APR 2017

Helen Dixon, the Republic of Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, hopes to come to an agreement with Facebook in a matter of months covering WhatsApp sharing data with the social media giant, Reuters reported.

The office is Facebook’s primary regulator in the region, as its European headquarters is located in Ireland.

In November, WhatsApp stopped sharing data of European users with Facebook a week after initiating a similar move in the UK at the request of the country’s Information Commission.

Following conversations with European officials, WhatsApp said it would only use data needed for administrative purposes such as fighting spam, giving regulators a chance to work out all their concerns and give Facebook time to address them.

“We hope to continue our detailed conversations with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office and other data protection officials, and we remain open to working collaboratively to address their questions,” Facebook said at the time.

Dixon told Reuters: “I think we are in agreement with the parties – WhatsApp and Facebook – that the quality of the information provided to users could have been clearer, could have been more transparent and could have been expressed in simpler terms.”

“We are working towards a solution on that,” she added.

WhatsApp came under fire from several countries and organisations, including European watchdogs and the Federal Trace Commission in the US, since announcing it was going to give its parent company user information to show more relevant ads and offer better friend suggestions.

Meanwhile, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager recently said she is reviewing Facebook’s response to charges it gave misleading information on how it would be able to use customer data during its proposed acquisition of WhatsApp.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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