Facebook and WhatsApp to Meet EU Taskforce for Non-Compliance Charges

Facebook and WhatsApp are accused of not abiding by the EU laws and because of that, they would be faced with scrutiny by the data protection taskforce.

The officials had the issue with messaging app’s plan of sharing the user data with Facebook which is also its parent company.

Article 29 Data Protection Working Party is a group of regulators and watchdogs from the European Union countries. According to them, WhatsApp has not done anything regarding the raised concerns.

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BBC requested Facebook and WhatsApp for their comments which are not received so far.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Facebook kept it clear that it would not be intervening with the data or operations of the messaging app. It even promised to let the app run independently from its own social network.

But in 2016 it came up with a plan which was announced that WhatsApp would be sharing the user data with Facebook for various offers like ‘friend suggestions’ or much more such related ads.

The time when this announcement was made Elizabeth Denham—UK’s Information Commissioner criticized it heavily and said she thinks that the company has not taken valid approvals of its users.

A newsletter is presented to Jan Koum—WhatsApp-Chief Executive by the Working Party, its written in the newsletter that the information given to the users for taking their consent was deficient and seriously lacked information as a channel for taking their approval.

It said that:

  • The pop-up notification on the messaging app did not say it with clarity that the users’ personal information would be shared with the parent firm that is Facebook
  • WhatsApp provided its users a “misleading impression” by stating that the privacy policy had been upgraded to “reflect new features”
  • A pre-ticked checkbox was used to accept the updated terms and did not point out “unambiguous consent”
  • The firm did not offer enough controls to the users to let people choose out of data sharing

UK’s Information Commissioner is to lead the meeting held by the taskforce and Both Facebook and WhatsApp are invited to attend it.

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