WhatsApp and Facebook have always said that in the field of data sharing nothing will change for European users, due to European regulations. WhatsApp will store and use transaction data from users outside the EU for payment services. Data of non-European users who contact companies via WhatsApp is also shared with Facebook.
According to the HmbBfDI, the amended conditions also state, among other things, that Facebook can use the WhatsApp data to connect to other Facebook services and that the company is interested in the data of young people. In addition, an earlier report is that WhatsApp messages are not shared with Facebook and are visibly removed by others.
‘The terms are misleading and contain contradictions’Although the commissioner acknowledges that Facebook says that the data will not be used for the purposes described, he also believes that the conditions for using the data are not transparent. The HmbBfDI believes that the data sharing could still be implemented step by step under the new conditions with the given consent. In addition, he says that it is unclear which conditions apply to Europeans and which apply to other users. In addition, the conditions would contradict and mislead each other. Ultimately, it would therefore not be clear what consequences it would have if users gave their consent.
Apart from the substantive conditions, the Commissioner is also not satisfied with how users should give consent. Giving permission is a condition to be able to use WhatsApp, which, according to the commissioner, is not free permission, which is mandatory under the GDPR.
The ban is the result of the urgent procedure that the privacy watchdog started in April. According to the rules of such an urgent procedure, the ban may be valid for a maximum of three months. That is why the watchdog is also going to the European Data Protection Board EDPB to be able to make it a permanent, European decision.