Thursday Sep 02, 2021
WhatsApp has been fined $267 million by Ireland's data watchdog on Thursday for breaching European Union (EU) data privacy rules, CNBC reported.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission stated that the Facebook-owned company did not reveal to citizens in the European Union what it does with their data.
The commission added that WhatsApp failed to tell Europeans how their personal information is collected, used, as well as, how it is shared with Facebook.
The commission has ordered WhatsApp to tweak its privacy policies so that they comply with Europe's privacy law. The app has also been ordered to change how it communicates with its users.
A WhatsApp spokesperson informed CNBC that the company will appeal the decision. He added that WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure service and will try to provide information that is transparent and comprehensive.
“We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate,” the spokesperson added.
According to a FAQ on WhatsApp's website, it is stated that the app shares phone numbers, transaction data, business interactions, mobile device information, IP addresses, and other information with Facebook.
WhatsApp, however, does not share personal conversations, location data or call logs with Facebook.
The fine rolled out by the Irish Commission is the largest penalty to date that WhatsApp has been handed for violating Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
GDPR requires that companies are clear and upfront about how they use customer data.