EU Asks WhatsApp To Stop Sharing Data With Facebook

A few months ago, Facebook and WhatsApp modified their privacy policy which allowed Facebook to siphon personal data from Whatsapp users.

WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy Change

The move was taken by Facebook in an bid to theoretically match people across the two messaging apps easily by suggesting connections based on their WhatsApp contacts. Users who did not want their privacy breached could choose to opt out of this before clicking accept on the new privacy policy.

Following that development, European privacy watchdog associations have recently sprung into action and asked WhatsApp to stop collecting personal data from users.

Article 29 Working Party

European Union’s data protection authorities are collectively known as Article 29 Working Party. The party expressed concerns over privacy policy change for WhatsApp brought along by Facebook, especially over the fact that Facebook uses the phone number of WhatsApp users as well.

The app company was urged to divulge all relevant information to the Working Party as soon as possible and asked them to stop sharing users’ data until appropriate legal protections are assured.

The Yahoo Hack

Article 29 also did something similar when the Yahoo hack revealed more than 500 million users’ account details in 2014. The collective asked Yahoo for information on all aspects of the data breach and asked that Yahoo should notify its users about the consequences brought along by the hack. They ordered Yahoo to cooperate with all upcoming national data protection authorities’ inquiries or investigations.

European Countries Bringing Up the Issue

Article 29 Working Party will discuss the cases for Yahoo and WhatsApp in November. These privacy breach concerns have been brought up by European countries recently over Yahoo’s mishandling of the data breach and the WhatsApp privacy policy change.

Germany had ordered Facebook to stop collecting user data on WhatsApp and delete the data they had acquired thus far since the change. Meanwhile, United Nations says that Yahoo’s handling of the hack has raised serious human rights concerns.

Via The Guardian

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Editor at ProPakistani.

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