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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > WhatsApp Was Ordered to Stop Collecting User Data in Germany

WhatsApp Was Ordered to Stop Collecting User Data in Germany

WhatsApp Was Ordered to Stop Collecting User Data in Germany

Added: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ISP, Download, BitTorrent, MPAA, RIAA, copyright-infringement, file-sharing, Torrenting
German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has ordered WhatsApp’s parent company to stop collecting user data from its messenger app and destroy any data it has already received. Facebook recently announced that it would start sharing WhatsApp user data for the purpose of targeted ads. While users have the option of opting out of the data being used for advertising purposes, they can’t opt out of the data sharing between the two services.

Hamburg’s agency ruled that Facebook failed to obtain an effective approval from the WhatsApp users and has no legal basis for the data reception. The commissioner points out that it has to be the users’ decision whether they are going to share their data with Facebook, and the social network has to ask for their permission in advance. It was also recalled that in Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp, the company had promised that they would not share user data.

Facebook’s activities in Germany are headquartered in Hamburg, and therefore the social network is under the jurisdiction of the regulator in that city. The commissioner ordered the tech giant to delete any data already received from WhatsApp in Germany in order to protect the privacy of 35 million WhatsApp users in the country, as well as that of people saved in their address books.

Facebook responds that it complies with data protection law of the European Union and is going to discuss the issue with the agency in attempt to resolve any concerns. Industry watchers remind that the tech giant has already faced privacy challenges across Europe – for example, from the Belgian data protection authority, as well as in Germany and France. The company also insists that it operates in Europe from its headquarters in Ireland, which means that its actions are governed by Irish law.

In the meantime, the European Commission also recommended tighter privacy and security requirements for online messaging services including WhatsApp and Skype, pointing out that they should be regulated more like traditional telecom services, while greater regulation could result in stricter data privacy provisions for emergency calling services and other mobile and fixed line telephony services.

Posted by: 

Date:  Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Comments (3) (please add your comment »)

posted by ET junkieKitty (2016-09-28 19:03:00)
Selsley avatarthe concearn is, that whatsapp giving personal data to facebook is not really protecting it, and therefore breaking the europian data protection laws. does facebook not now what protection means?

posted by Kitty (2016-09-29 20:02:24)
Crash1 avatarThey ALSO fail to realise that it doesn't matter WHERE a company is HEADQUARTERED, if you operate in a country you MUST abide by that country's laws. In Europe you must ALSO abide by the EU laws, so whichever set of laws is stricter takes precedence. (Using the USA as an analogy, the FEDERAL laws are like the EU laws, and the STATE laws are the COUNTRY laws. If STATE law is stricter than FEDERAL law [eg maximum sentences, death penalties, etc], then they take precedence.)
In THIS case, Germany has mandated laws stricter than those of the EU, but confined the ruling to Germany ONLY, therefore that complies with EU guidelines, so Facebook is just going to have to comply, or get continuously fined until they do. (and it couldn't happen to a nicer group)

posted by (2016-10-01 21:33:08)
Slayerr avatarATT: Crash1. (and it couldn't happen to a nicer group) hehe Facebook is known as "Hacker Haven" here where I'm from. I had to delete my account as I was tired of having my pc formatted while playing games.
A UK-based security researcher has earned himself $20,000 after uncovering a way to hack into any account on Facebook, just by sending a mobile phone text message.

This should - obviously - have been impossible, but due to a weakness in Facebook's tangled nest of millions and millions of lines in code, potentially hundreds of millions of accounts were vulnerable to hijacking through the simple technique.

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