Facebook was recently ordered by Germany to stop collecting the user data via WhatsApp. The social media giant was also instructed to delete the previously received WhatsApp data.
The regulators emphasised that the company failed to inform the 35 million German WhatsApp users of its data collection policy. The Commissioner Johannes Caspar reiterated:
“Facebook has to ask for their permission in advance. This has not happened.”
However, last month, the Zuckerberg’s company announced that phone numbers, WhatsApp status, profile data, and more would be shared with Facebook from the platform. The move prompted Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in the US to accuse Facebook of the violation of the FTC order and lying.
Caspar further expressed his concern about the possible uploading of the WhatsApp contact list of the user onto Facebook.
“[this] is cause for concern that the gravity of the data protection breach will [be even more serious].”
Germany is the first country that has waded into this dispute. The country has strong privacy laws in place that result in the frequent clash with tech giants including Google and Facebook. In 2015, the German courts ordered Mark Zuckerberg and Co. to allow pseudonyms on Facebook instead of the real user names.
Following the decision, Facebook has announced that it is ready to collaborate with the German authorities and deal with the problem.