Facebook systematic to stop harvesting information on WhatsApp users in Germany

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Facebook has been systematic to stop harvesting the data of WhatsApp users in Germany.

The pierce follows a latter’s startle proclamation last month that it would start pity user information with a primogenitor company, Facebook, including users’ phone numbers and final seen time in a app. Stated uses for a information includes marketing/ad targeting.

Shock because, behind during the time of a $19BN acquisition, WhatsApp’s owner publicly settled that zero would change for users of a ad-free messaging height as a outcome of offered to a amicable network giant. Full outlines if we didn’t trust a word of it during a time.

But reneging on such open matter looks to be what’s got a two into prohibited H2O in Hamburg now, with a city’s data insurance authority describing the resulting situation as both dubious for users and a crack of inhabitant information insurance law.

The Hamburg DPA is able to emanate a national order opposite Facebook’s business in Germany since a company has a bend bureau located in a city.

In a statement today, information insurance commissioner Johannes Caspar systematic Facebook to undo any information it has already harvested from Germany’s 35 million WhatsApp users, and to stop collecting some-more — asserting that Facebook has not performed accede from WhatsApp users for joining their accounts.

He also indicted Facebook of harvesting millions of phone numbers, around WhatsApp users’ hit lists, of people who competence be conjunction a Facebook nor a WhatsApp user.

Last month WhatsApp users were pushed a presentation of updated terms and conditions for a app, and similar to them default opted users in to pity information with Facebook. Although a some-more clever reader of a TCs competence have beheld there was a toggle at a finish that could be switched to opt out of sharing information with Facebook for marketing/ad targeting purposes.

“The arrangement protects a information of about 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany. It has to be their particular preference either they wish to bond their comment with Facebook. This requires Facebook to ask accede beforehand. This has not happened,” he pronounced (translated from German around Google Translate).

“In further there are many millions of people whose hit sum were uploaded from a residence books of users WhatsApp, but requiring them to have something to do with Facebook or WhatsApp.

“This huge volume of data, Facebook has not nonetheless been collected by his possess admission. The response from Facebook that this is simply not nonetheless taken place during a time, however, gives means for regard that a border of a information crack even some-more large impact will lead to. ”

Facebook has said it intends to interest a order.

In a matter supposing to TechCrunch in response to a action, a orator for a association said: “Facebook complies with EU information insurance law. We will interest this sequence and will work with a Hamburg DPA in an bid to residence their questions and solve any concerns.”

This is not a usually headache for a WhatsApp-Facebook data-sharing understanding in Europe, that has a opposite information insurance regime than the U.S. — a cause that has derailed other Facebook moves (such as heading it to spin off a facial recognition-powered tagging underline in a segment back in 2012).

The change to Facebook cross-referencing WhatsApp user information and app analytics with other services it owns and operates has also held a courtesy of a UK’s ICO information insurance watchdog — that last month pronounced it was looking into either a dual companies were being pure with users about how their information is being common and used.

In a ubiquitous matter progressing this month a Article 29 Working Party, a European physique that represents a common views of a DPAs of a 28 Member State of the EU, said: “Users should keep control of their information when Internet giants massively accumulate it.”

It combined that it and any inhabitant DPA “closely guard any remoteness process changes”.

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