WhatsApp Has 30 Days to Stop Sharing User Data with Facebook
France’s ultra-strict privacy agency CNIL (National Data Protection Commission) has given WhatsApp thirty days to stop sharing user data with its owner Facebook, suggesting that there was never proper user consent to sharing data for gathering business intelligence, security measures and developing targeted advertising.
The agency’s order says: “While the security purpose seems to be essential to the efficient functioning of the application, it is not the case for the ‘business intelligence’ purpose which aims at improving performances and optimizing the use of the application through the analysis of its users’ behaviour. The Chair of the CNIL considered that the data transfer from WHATSAPP to FACEBOOK Inc. for this ‘business intelligence’ purpose is not based on the legal basis required by the Data Protection Act for any processing. In particular, neither the users’ consent nor the legitimate interest of WHATSAPP can be used as arguments in this case.”
You can see the full public notice that CNIL posted on their website here.
This is not the first time that European regulators have tried to harness Facebook, especially when it comes to sharing user data. Last September Germany ordered Facebook to stop harvesting data from WhatsApp users, and in the UK Facebook agreed to stop collecting WhatsApp user data as of last November.
This was followed by the EU fining Facebook £122 million in May, for providing ‘misleading information’ after acquiring WhatsApp, when the company stated that it will not be able to link profiles of WhatsApp users to Facebook.