Facebook faces German ban on processing WhatsApp user data

● What is the news ?

▪︎A German data regulator has banned Facebook from processing personal data from WhatsApp users in the country, saying that the app’s controversial new privacy policy update is illegal.

▪︎The decision follows emergency proceedings opened by the regulator in the city-state of Hamburg last month after WhatsApp required users to consent to new terms or stop using the service.

▪︎This order seeks to secure the rights and freedoms of the many millions of users who give their consent to the terms of use throughout Germany," Hamburg's data protection officer Johannes Caspar said.

● Things to know more

▪︎In January, WhatsApp began to roll out new privacy policies stating that it would share more data with its parent company, a move that has both spooked users and drawn wider regulatory scrutiny. The move was delayed following an outcry from users concerned that their sensitive data would be shared with Facebook for the first time, but it will now be fully rolled out on Saturday.

▪︎Facebook said it was considering options for appealing against the German order, which it believes to be a misuse of the GDPR’s urgency procedures. 

“The Hamburg DPA’s order against Facebook is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and effect of WhatsApp’s update and therefore has no legitimate basis,” WhatsApp said. “As the Hamburg DPA’s claims are wrong, the order will not impact the continued rollout of the update.”

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