German consumer rights group accuses WhatsApp of illegally sharing user data with Facebook

VZBZ, The Federation of German Consumer Organisations, a non-governmental organisation has filed a lawsuit against WhatsApp for sharing its user data with Facebook. The group pointed out that the company is illegally collecting and storing the data to pass it to Facebook. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 but there was no privacy concern or problem around Whats App.

Roughly translated, the tweet is saying that, “WhatsApp is illegally transmitting data to Facebook. See you in court!”

Things took a major turn as WhatsApp modified its privacy policy as it hinted the direction the development of the app will head. The new privacy policy would allow the company to share user contact details with Facebook, enabling it to match contacts with the registered phone numbers of Facebook. This would help Facebook with advertising and providing more Friend suggestions. VZBZ pointed out its concerns and said that the shared data will not change for the users who are not using WhatsApp.

The group demands that the companies stop transferring the data of users who are not using WhatsApp and delete the data for users if it has already been transferred, as reported by PCWorld It also objected to the eight clauses in WhatsApp’s revised terms of use where one of the eight allows WhatsApp to serve its users with advertising from Facebook without any user consent.

The privacy outcry is not limited to Germany and other regulators like Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy in USA and privacy groups in India filed complaints with FTC in USA and High Court in India respectively. German courts and an India High Court ordered Facebook to delete such data and take in regard the user privacy of its users.

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