German regulator bans Facebook from processing WhatsApp user data

Germany’s lead data safety regulator for Facebook is banning the social community from processing private data from WhatsApp customers as a result of it views the messaging app’s new phrases of use as unlawful, it stated on Tuesday.

The determination follows emergency proceedings opened by the regulator within the city-state of Hamburg final month after WhatsApp required customers to consent to new phrases or cease utilizing the service.

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“This order seeks to secure the rights and freedoms of the many millions of users who give their consent to the terms of use throughout Germany,” Hamburg’s data safety officer Johannes Caspar stated.

“My objective is to prevent disadvantages and damages associated with such a black-box procedure.”

Caspar, who leads home oversight of Facebook underneath Germany’s federal system as its nation workplace is in Hamburg, introduced his determination earlier than a May 15 deadline for consenting to WhatsApp’s new phrases.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, stated the motion by the Hamburg data safety authority rested on a basic misunderstanding of the aim and impact of its replace and due to this fact had no official foundation.

“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,” a WhatsApp spokesperson stated.

The regulatory motion has opened a brand new entrance in Germany over Facebook’s privateness insurance policies, with its nationwide antitrust regulator waging a authorized battle over data practices it says quantity to an abuse of market dominance.

Since 2018, on-line privateness has been topic to a European Union rulebook, referred to as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under the GDPR, Ireland leads oversight of Facebook as a result of the corporate’s European headquarters is there.

Caspar stated he was utilizing his energy to impose a three-month freeze on Facebook’s assortment of WhatsApp user data underneath extraordinary powers foreseen within the GDPR.

He stated he would additionally search an EU-wide ruling on the European Data Protection Board, a discussion board that teams regulators from the bloc’s 27 member states.

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