WhatsApp given ultimatum to stop sharing user data with Facebook

LUXEMBOURG – Facebook’s messaging service WhatsAPP has been given a one-month ultimatum by one of Europe’s strictest privacy watchdogs, which order it to stop sharing user data with its parent without getting the necessary consent. NCIL, France’s data protection authority, gave a very sharp warning to WhatsApp by issuing a formal notice, criticising it for “insufficiently” cooperating.

This decision comes just a year after European Union privacy authorities said that they had “serious concerns” about the sharing of WhatsApp user data for purposes that were not included in the terms of service and privacy policy when people signed up to the service.

CNIL “decided to make this formal notice public in order to ensure the highest level of transparency on the massive data transfer from WhatsApp to Facebook and thus to alert to the need for individuals concerned to keep their data under control,” the regulator said in a statement issued on its website this week.

Facebook is facing regulatory hurdles throughout Europe over a range of privacy issues. German antitrust officials are said to issue findings within days on a probe into whether the social network abuses its dominant position when users sign agreements that allows the company to harvest vast amounts of data.

Andreas Mundt, president of Budeskartellamt, said the developments would be ready by the end of the year.

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