WhatsApp hits pause on sharing user data in Europe - Mobile World Live

WhatsApp hits pause on sharing user data in Europe

17 NOV 2016

WhatsApp temporarily stopped sharing data of European users with Facebook, according to media reports, just a week after doing the same in the UK on the request of the Information Commission.

Following conversations with European officials, WhatsApp will 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,” the Financial Times quoted Facebook as saying.

The report added that the suspension was confirmed by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s office, which is Facebook’s primary regulator (its European headquarters is located in Ireland).

The commissioner’s office said it would take action after looking into the “quality of the notice and information delivered to users of the WhatsApp service prior to their making a choice to either continue using WhatsApp or to cancel their account”.

Ever since the messaging app maker said it was going to give its parent company user information to show more relevant ads and offer better friend suggestions, it has come under fire from several countries and organisations, including watchdogs in Europe and the FTC in the US.

In October, European data protection group G29 told WhatsApp to pause its sharing of user data as the policy is investigated and “appropriate legal protections can be assured”.

In September, the Hamburg’s Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom in Germany also blocked Facebook from collecting data.


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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