The European officials that take care of their citizen’s privacy warned WhatsApp to stop sharing user data with Facebook. The Article 29 Working Party is known as the law that protects the privacy of people in Europe, including their user data on an app or email address.
Article 29 mentioned that WhatsApp received a request to offer more information about this sharing user data problem in order for the Working Party to solve it. They also requested that WhatsApp stops sharing user data until legal protection is assured for the users. These requests made by Article 29 are not an order since this Article is considered just an advisory group.
The advisory group doesn’t have any power over the big companies. The group can just send requests and advise companies to change some policies. In response to the requests, WhatsApp said that they have the same policies and that they are not going to change them.
This “sharing user data” started once Facebook acquired WhatsApp. Despite the fact that both companies assured privacy officials that they are not going to share any user data or information they did not do that.
Once Facebook bought WhatsApp they started sharing user data, information, phone numbers, and other details to one another. This is considered somehow illegal because users did not give their written consent for this.
Things started to get complicated once WhatsApp decided to change its policy so that they could share the user data without any problems. EPIC, the U.S privacy group files an FTC complaint against Facebook. German privacy regulators ordered both companies to stop this practice.
Because WhatsApp is a popular app in Europe citizens are now uncertain about the future of this application in the EU. They don’t know what the company is going to do but they won’t close the app for Europe for sure because there they have a lot of users.
Once you download and use an app you should be aware of the fact that their data is going to be shared. Despite this, before any app uses or shares your personal data they need to get your consent. This is why the EU regulators sent those requests, in order for companies to know that sharing user data without permission is not ok.
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