WhatsApp Agrees Not To Share Data With Facebook…For Now

15 March, 2018, 03:20 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Facebook agrees to leave Whats App personal data alone as ICO concludes investigation

She said the ICO investigation had found that WhatsApp had not identified a lawful basis of processing for any such sharing of personal data. The UK ICO will continue to monitor WhatsApp's adherence to the undertaking, and most likely will reserve the right to re-open the investigation should concerns about data sharing arise going forward.

Facebook, for its part, has agreed that it will not do so until it can do so in a way that complies with upcoming European privacy rules, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Facebook purchased WhatsApp in 2014 for $19bn (£13.6bn), and updated WhatApp's terms and conditions in August 2016 allowing businesses to send users messages and giving Facebook access to phone numbers to target users with tailored adverts. So if you are a WhatsApp users, and don't want Facebook to add it to the long list of ways it can hoard information about you, you needn't worry. They state that data protection should be both by design and default in any operation.

"I reached the conclusion that an undertaking was the most effective regulatory tool for me to use, given the circumstances of the case", Denham said.

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WhatsApp also only gave users in the United Kingdom 30 days to opt-out of this data sharing, which the ICO found to be inadequate.

That same month WhatsApp also suspended such data sharing activity in the UK. "This is common practice and if done consistently with the law, under contract, does not generally raise data protection concerns", she wrote, noting that data protection law does not prevent a company from sharing personal data, it just means they have to follow the legal requirements.

The Hamburg Commissioner of Data Protection and Freedom of Information issued a press release on 2 March 2018, indicating that the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Hamburg had confirmed his administrative order, banning Facebook from using WhatsApp user data for its own purposes. It's not a permanent commitment, and there are a few noteworthy exceptions, but it's good news for WhatsApp users who give a damn about their privacy.


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