Facebook blocked from applying WhatsApp privacy policy in Germany

The Hamburg data protection agency has ordered Facebook to stop collecting German WhatsApp users’ data arguing that it’s mandatory privacy policy is against the laws. 

Facebook first announced its controversial privacy policy for WhatsApp users in January and said the accounts of those who don’t accept it would be removed by February 8th. 

However, the company later postponed it to May 15th after it was met with the ongoing global confusion which led many users begin looking for WhatsApp alternative apps.

A few days before the deadline, Johannes Caspar, the head of Hamburg’s privacy authority, ordered an emergency ban to block Facebook from collecting data of WhatsApp users in Germany for three months, saying that the new privacy policy is invalid as the terms are intransparent, inconsistent and overly broad

The order aims to secure the rights and freedoms of millions of users which are agreeing to the terms Germany-wide,” Caspar said. “We need to prevent damage and disadvantages linked to such a black-box-procedure.”

A WhatsApp spokesperson said that the order is ”a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and effect of WhatsApp’s update” adding that it ”has no legitimate basis”.

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’’ said the spokesperson. ‘’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,” the spokesperson added, suggesting that Facebook-owned WhatsApp may be intending to ignore the order.’’

Written by Jordan Bevan

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