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WhatsApp Given 1-Month Ultimatum to Stop Facebook Data Transfers

WhatsApp Given 1-Month Ultimatum to Stop Facebook Data Transfers

French data protection agency Cnil has issued a formal notice to WhatsApp, ordering the company to stop transferring the data of its users to Facebook, which it had been found to do, without their consent.

France's data privacy watchdog, CNIL, said on Monday that it has given WhatsApp an ultimatum to comply with the order and focus on getting user consent before moving data to its parent company or it could sanction the company.

A change to WhatsApp's privacy policy previous year saw the app transferring data to its parent company for the purposes of "business intelligence" and security purposes.

CNIL has said that the consent taken by WhatsApp is not valid since it is mandatory to be able to use the app and the only method of refusing consent to the sharing of data is to uninstall it. We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers.

Then this May, Facebook was fined $122 million by the European Union for providing "misleading information" about its acquisition of WhatsApp, when the company claimed that it would be unable to link profiles of users from WhatsApp to Facebook.

The social messaging giant Whatsapp is going to be fined by French privacy watchdog.

While it is not clear exactly how Facebook and WhatsApp will respond to this, it is likely that the order will be complied with. "In particular, neither the users' consent nor the legitimate interest of WHATSAPP can be used as arguments in this case". While the CNIL found that there was cause to share data for security purposes, no such legal basis exists for business intelligence per the Data Protection Act.

'Privacy is incredibly important to WhatsApp. That violates "the fundamental freedoms of users", said the CNIL. But it doesn't agree with the "business intelligence" aspect of it that allows Facebook to collect WhatsApp data. It's why we collect very little data, and encrypt every message, ' a spokeswoman for WhatsApp said.

The move has spurred a number of regulatory actions against Facebook in Europe, including an investigation into the matter by the CNIL.

A German court in April upheld an order from the Hamburg data protection commissioner to stop transferring user data from Germany's 35 million WhatsApp users to Facebook. Following WhatsApp's 2016 privacy policy update, the company revealed it had that capability at the time of the acquisition.

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