WhatsApp warned over Facebook data share deal

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

EU regulators have ordered messaging service to cease sharing data with parent-company while it investigates

The European Union has warned WhatsApp to end data sharing practices with parent-company Facebook.

Privacy watchdogs said they had “serious concerns” about recent changes to the messaging service’s privacy policy, which made sharing customer data with Facebook possible.

In a letter from the regulators, they asked WhatsApp to suspend data sharing until it was clear that European privacy rules were not being broken.

The Article 29 Working Party asked WhatsApp to “communicate all relevant information to the Working Party as soon as possible and urged the company to pause the sharing of users' data until the appropriate legal protections could be assured”.

The changes to the privacy policy were introduced in August, allowing people a limited time to opt out. It allows Facebook, which acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, to access more information from the messaging service.

It comes after German authorities ordered Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp, citing digital privacy concerns, in a ruling last month.

WhatsApp has said it is working with the European regulators to try and settle the issues through an agreement.