EU consumer group ups pressure on WhatsApp - Mobile World Live

EU consumer group ups pressure on WhatsApp

12 JUL 2021

WhatsApp offered to discuss a planned privacy policy update with the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), as it shrugged off allegations by the group it misled users by failing to clarify the impact of the changes on user data.

The Facebook subsidiary’s comment comes as a response to a BEUC complaint filed today (12 July) accusing the messaging service of multiple breaches of European Union consumer rights, including a failure to explain amendments in a transparent manner.

“BEUC’s action is based on a misunderstanding of the purpose and effect of the update to our terms of service”, a WhatsApp representative told Mobile World Live.

The company claimed its update explains how people can communicate with businesses on the app, and provides “further transparency about how we collect and use data” which it maintained is not shared with parent Facebook.

BEUC explained it filed a complaint with the European Commission because “WhatsApp has been unduly pressuring its users to accept its new terms of use and privacy policy”. It said the move represented an unfair practice as it harmed people’s freedom of choice and was hard to comprehend

WhatsApp’s update was delayed in January due to concerns over sharing user data with Facebook. The company also faces a challenge by the government of India.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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