Monday, October 25, 2021

Germany Bans WhatsApp/Facebook Data Sharing

Germany has banned WhatsApp data from being used by Facebook, in yet another blow to the social media giant’s plans.

Facebook angered users and lawmakers with its plans to share WhatsApp user data with other Facebook-owned companies. Many users started closing their accounts and moving to more secure alternatives, such as Signal. The backlash was so severe that Facebook pushed back the deadline, and ultimately changed the scope of the plan — from locking out users that refused to accept the terms to limiting their functionality.

At least one jurisdiction is trying to stop Facebook altogether, with Hamburg data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar, banning the company from moving forward. 

“The order aims to secure the rights and freedoms of millions of users which are agreeing to the terms Germany-wide,” Mr Caspar said in a statement, via The Irish Times, when issuing a three month emergency order.

“We need to prevent damage and disadvantages linked to such a black-box-procedure.”

Needless to say, Facebook is pushing back, saying the order will have no impact on its plans.

“Our recent update explains the options people have to message a business on WhatsApp and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. As the Hamburg DPA’s claims are wrong, the order will not impact the continued roll-out of the update. We remain fully committed to delivering secure and private communications for everyone.”

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