Germany has just decided to prohibit both Facebook and WhatsApp from sharing user data with each other. This happens because consumers did not agree to this exchange of information.
In August, WhatsApp announced that it would start sharing user data with the parent company, Facebook. Supposedly, the social platform would use the data to deliver better ads and gain more information about the people who are using the instant messaging app.
However, when this agreement was made public, many people protested and were outraged. Many believed that this deal was unfair and that it shouldn’t be allowed. WhatsApp was in quite a difficult position, since it had previously engaged to keep users’ data private. Moreover, the company had claimed in the past that it didn’t want to use the platform for ads.
But now it seems the company is quite in trouble, or at least in Germany. The data protection commissioner in Hamburg issued now an administrative order that bans Facebook from sharing any information with WhatsApp all over Germany. Moreover, they ordered Facebook to delete all the information already received from WhatsApp.
The administrative order’s purpose is to make sure that 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany keep their data secured. After all, it should be the users’ decision to share information and connect their Whatsapp accounts to Facebook. As such, the company should ask for their permission before doing so, which has not happened.
Moreover, it seems that WhatsApp has uploaded contact details from the address books of millions of users, even if they had nothing to do with the instant messaging app or with Facebook. Facebook declared that no data has been collected.
What do you think? Could this data protection order set the precedent for other countries to follow?
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