Facebook Ordered to Delete WhatsApp User Data by German regulator
One German privacy regulator has ordered social networking giant Facebook to stop collecting and storing data of German users. The order was given on Tuesday and with Facebook collecting WhatsApp data of German smartphone users, the regulatory authority wants to put an end to this immediately.
Facebook Infringing Data Protection Law, According to the German Privacy Regulator
According to The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Facebook has been infringing the data protection law and has not yet obtained the right in the form of an approval to collect WhatsApp users’ data. According to the latest statistic, there are a total of 35 million WhatsApp users living in Germany at this current time. WhatsApp was acquired by the social networking behemoth for the price of $19 billion in both cash and stock in an effort to increase the younger audience tally.
Commissioner Johannes Caspar said in a statement that both WhatsApp and Facebook said that data between them is not going to be shared, but users have been misled by both companies:
“After the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook two years ago, both parties have publicly assured that data will not be shared between them. The fact that this is now happening is not only a misleading of their users and the public but also constitutes an infringement of national data protection law.”
Facebook, on the other hand, states that it has complied with the EU data protection law and therefore is not breaking any boundaries. Regardless, the company has stated it is working with the Hamburg DPA in an effort to address their queries and remove any confusion from the matter at hand. The Hamburg commissioner’s move is a direct reaction after EU and US regulators said they would scrutinize changes to privacy settings that WhatsApp made in August.
The outcome of this announcement has yet to be detailed, but we’ll update you as soon as both parties have reached a decision.