WhatsApp asked to stop sharing user data with Facebook

By Shehryar Ahmed on
December 19, 2017
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Last year, WhatsApp made an addition to its terms of service. This addition stated that WhatsApp will be sharing user data with its parent company, Facebook.

The purpose of this data sharing was quoted to be able to develop targeted advertising, improve security measures and gather general business intelligence.

These claims were investigated by CNIL, a French regulatory body which ensures data privacy and security. As a result of the investigation, the CNIL has ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing data with Facebook.

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The investigations deemed the security and evaluation reason to be valid whereas the business intelligence and targeted advertising reasons failed to pass the scrutiny.

Upon summoning, WhatsApp told CNIL that no data of any of its French users have been processed for targeted advertising purposes, which turned out to be false and CNIL labeled it a violation of the French Data Protection Act.

CNIL has said that the consent taken by WhatsApp is not valid since it is mandatory to be able to use the app and the only method of refusing consent to the sharing of data is to uninstall it.

To further bitter the proceedings, WhatsApp refused to provide the CNIL with samples of data collected by them, arguing that French law does not apply to them since they are based in the US.

WhatsApp has been given a one-month time-frame to comply with the order, wherein failure to do so might result in the app getting sanctioned nationwide.

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