WhatsApp fined 225 million euros for breaching privacy policies – Very Interesting

WhatsApp will have to pay the second most expensive fine in the European Union for not informing its users of the data it shares with Facebook.

The Irish Commission for Data Protection (DPC) imposed a fine of 225 million euros on WhatsApp for ignore your obligation to users to report what user data is shared with Facebook.

With more than 2 billion users, WhatsApp is the most used instant messaging service in the world and since February 2014 it is owned by Facebook, Inc.

This acquisition has led to investigations and lawsuits in both the European Union and the United States against the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg, considering that engages in monopolistic practices that according to Federal Trade Commission of the United States, “hurt competition, leave consumers with few options for personal social networks and deprive advertisers of their benefits.”

Photo: Priscilla du Preez / Unsplash

The latest sanction comes after an investigation that spanned the last four years, with the aim of clarifying whether Facebook fully complied with the regulations of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, which must be subject to in this territory.

According to Helen Dixon, Commissioner for Data Protection, WhatsApp only reported 41% of the information prescribed to its users, a “very serious deficit” that led to four “very serious” violations of local law, to which the Silicon Valley company adheres because it operates in the EU through Facebook Ireland Ltd.

WhatsApp replied through a concise statement and referred to the fine as “totally disproportionate.” The company specified that it maintains a commitment to offer a safe and private service, explicitly stating its disagree with the sanction.

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A day after the fine in the European Union, the Turkish Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (KVKK, for its acronym in Turkish) imposed another fine of 200 thousand dollars to WhatsApp because it considers that the last change in its conditions of use forced users to forcibly accept it.

At the beginning of 2021, WhatsApp issued an ultimatum to its users as a way to force them to accept the new privacy policies before February 8 or, their accounts would be permanently closed on February 8.

The initiative caused the annoyance of millions of users, who left the application and moved to other clients such as Signal O Telegram, that broke download records. The controversy caused WhatsApp to postpone the entry into force of its policies for three months and finally, the company reversed the threats.